Swiss care homes are making ever-greater use of robots. These therapeutic or activation robots, as they are known, are designed to relieve the burden on caregivers – but they should not be seen as a substitute for them.
Japan’s Takanori Shibata developed the PARO therapeutic robot almost 20 years ago. Today, PARO is used in geriatric care in over 30 countries worldwide. At the invitation of Sabina Misoch, Head of the Interdisciplinary Competence Centre for Ageing at the FHS St.Gallen, the scientist visited St.Gallen last week for a lecture – and he had a hidden surprise in his luggage.
On a research trip to Japan, Sabina Misoch, Head of the Interdisciplinary Competence Centre for Ageing, presented her Living Lab project to international scientists and industry representatives. But the meeting almost didn’t happen.
How do people with dementia respond to robots? Sabina Misoch, Head of the Interdisciplinary Competence Centre for Ageing, discussed this question with the professor Toshimitsu Hamada and his team of researchers from Tsukuba University, one of Japan’s best universities. Professor Hamada is considered a pioneer in the field of research into robot-assisted therapy in nursing homes.
During her first week in Japan, Sabina Misoch visited Robo Universe Exhibition, which is part of the CEATEC Fair in Tokyo. Her goal: to find out about new robot systems and connect with potential industrial partners for the Living Lab project in Switzerland. The gerontologist had to overcome unexpectedly high language barriers and came across some rather strange (new) robots – such as a cat without a head.