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Neuroscience Clinic Studies Social Robots for Dementia


The staff at Genesis Neuroscience Clinic and students at the University of Tennessee’s Mechanical Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering College in Knoxville are researching ways to improve the use of robots in assisting those living with memory disorders.

According to Dr. Monica Crane at Genesis, the robots could benefit families of those with dementia. One of the limitations of dementia care is that a lot of the time, caregivers are very expensive and families don’t have time to care for these individuals. Therefore, these robots can aid in supplementing additional care for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other related memory disorders.

Social Robots

Ziming Liu has been working with U.T professor Xiaopeng Zhao on developing the robots, intending to have them help slow the progression of dementia. They are trying to improve the robot’s social functions by bringing them to the Neuroscience clinic for further studies.

The robots are being designed to aid individuals with memory disorders, such as dementia, by giving them activities and questions that can stimulate the brain. These robots are also programmed to pick up on a patient’s emotional cues and remind said patients of daily and menial tasks such as taking medication.

According to Crane, the whole idea of a social robot is not to replace people, but to be used as a supplement to caregivers.

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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