Japanese experts have revealed plans for a Star Wars inspired droid to provide company for socially isolated people such as the elderly.
Originally, experts in Japan had been attempting to create a human-like robot to mimic human communication and relationships. The original proto-type was called Pepper and he was able to respond to a person’s needs through the use of speech.
However, some said that Pepper was a success but a little creepy and did not find the human-like look of this robot to be of priority in a companion.
Mr Kaname Hayashi, the designer of Pepper said that when you ask people whether they would prefer a more human-like robot – similar to Star Wars’ C3PO – or one sharing more similarities with the droid R2-D2, 80% would prefer the R2-D2 style model.
Kaname Hayashi also said: “We want to create a robot that can carry out communication on the subconscious level. The concept will be similar to Star Wars’ R2-D2, or the BB8 droid featured in the newest film, which does not speak but still forms relationships with humans.”
These robots will be able to monitor facial expressions and pick up on changes in a person’s mood. Throughout the time spent with their companion, the droids should begin to get to know their owners and form a strong relationship, similar to that with a human. These efforts are all in the hope that the elderly will be less lonely and have increased happiness in their later stages of life.
If you are looking for a companionship for you or your loved ones, these friendly Star Wars droids will be available on the market in 2019. In the meantime, why not take a look at our heavy duty wheelchairs to help you regain your independence and happiness.
Image: Gordon Tarpley under Creative Commons