Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Download: Cuddly robots to help dementia, and what Daedalus taught us

Computer scienceThe Download: Cuddly robots to help dementia, and what Daedalus taught us


Enter cuddly robots. The most famous are Golden Pup, a robotic golden retriever toy that cocks its head, barks and wags its tail, and Paro the seal, which can sense touch, light, sound, temperature, and posture. As robots go they’re decidedly low tech, but they can provide comfort and entertainment to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Now researchers are working on much more sophisticated robots for people with cognitive disorders—devices that leverage AI to converse and play games—that could change the future of dementia care. Read the full story.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly health and biotech newsletter. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.

What tech learned from Daedalus

Today’s climate-change kraken may have been unleashed by human activity, but reversing course and taming nature’s growing fury seems beyond human means, a quest only mythical heroes could fulfill. 

Yet the dream of human-powered flight—of rising over the Mediterranean fueled merely by the strength of mortal limbs—was also the stuff of myths for thousands of years. Until 1988.

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