Tuesday February 19, 2019
Home Lead Story Now Comes an ...

Now Comes an Assistive Robot To Help Elderly Live Independently

The robot then used its mapping and navigation camera, sensors and software to find the person and offer assistance

0
//
Robots
New assistive robot to help elderly live independently. Pixabay

Scientists have created a robot that could help elderly people with dementia and other limitations live independently in their own homes.

The Robot Activity Support System, or RAS, developed by the Washington State University (WSU), uses sensors embedded in a smart home to determine where its residents are, what they are doing and when they need assistance with daily activities.

It navigates through rooms and around obstacles to find people on its own, provides video instructions on how to do simple tasks and can even lead its owner to objects like their medication or a snack in the kitchen.

“RAS combines the convenience of a mobile robot with the activity detection technology of a WSU smart home to provide assistance in the moment, as the need for help is detected,” said Bryan Minor, postdoctoral student at the WSU.

With a number of adults over 85 needing assistance with every day activities such as preparing meals and taking medication, the researchers hope that technologies like RAS and the smart home will alleviate some of the financial strain on the healthcare system and make it easier for older adults to live alone.

Robot, Reading Companion
FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

“Upwards of 90 per cent of older adults prefer to age in place as opposed to moving into a nursing home,” said Diane Cook, Professor at the WSU.

“We want to make it so that instead of bringing in a caregiver or sending these people to a nursing home, we can use technology to help them live independently on their own,” Cook added.

In the study, detailed in the journal Cognitive Systems Research, the team recruited a small group of students to complete three activities — getting ready to walk the dog, taking medication with food and water and watering household plants — in a smart home with RAS as an assistant.

Also Read- Nokia Plans to Cut Jobs, Says Slow 5G Progress Not Cause For Layoffs

When the smart home sensors detected a human failed to initiate or was struggling with one of the tasks, RAS received a message to help.

The robot then used its mapping and navigation camera, sensors and software to find the person and offer assistance. (IANS)

Next Story

Edible Marijuana May Affect Heart Health in Elderly, Says Study

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death

0
Israel, Marijauna
An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel, Nov. 1, 2012. Late Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Israel's parliament unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana. VOA

With marijuana legalisation sweeping the US, an increasing number of people believe that “weed” is the safest recreational drug, and carries health benefits that outweigh its risks.

However, according to a new study, each marijuana formulation may affect and sometimes even compromise the cardiovascular system in older adults.

“Marijuana can be a useful tool for many patients, especially for pain and nausea relief. At the same time, like all other medications, it does carry risks and side effects,” said Alexandra Saunders from the Dalhousie University in Canada.

Cannabis flower (marijuana).

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, examined the case of a patient who developed crushing chest pain and myocardial ischemia after consuming most of a marijuana lollipop.

The “inappropriate dosing and oral consumption of marijuana resulted in distress that caused a cardiac event and subsequent reduced cardiac function,” Saunders said.

The report describes a 70-year-old man with stable coronary artery disease, taking the appropriate cardiac medications, who ate most of a lollipop that was infused with 90 mg of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) to relieve pain and aid sleep. The lollipop caused him to have a potentially serious heart attack.

According to the report, he consumed a much larger dose than the 7 mg that is typically ingested by smoking a single joint or taking the 2.5 mg starting dose of a synthetic THC.

Marijuana, Canada, israel
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The patient’s ingestion of an unusually large amount of THC caused the unexpected strain on his body from anxiety and fearful hallucinations and likely triggered the cardiac event, the researchers said.

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death.

Also Read- Vietnam Offering Support to Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

While previous research on marijuana-induced myocardial ischemia has mostly focused on younger patients, healthcare providers need to understand and manage cannabis use and its complications in older patients, particularly in those with cardiovascular disease, the researchers noted. (IANS)