HEADLINES Published March8, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Robot that Would take Care of Dementia Patients Unveiled

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The costs of caring for someone with dementia are far higher than costs for those with heart disease or cancer.
(Photo : Sean Gallup, Getty Images )

The rise in cases of dementia is undeniably one of the most daunting issues people have to face at present. According to experts, the largest hike in recorded dementia sufferers is expected to happen over the next twenty years. At present, it affects over 44 million people worldwide.

The medical field have since made significant strides in researching and uncovering more information about the disease. Despite the advancements made in dementia research however, it is unfortunate that people who take care of dementia sufferers are often overlooked.

Studies show that over 20% of dementia carers have gone from working full-time to part-time because of their new responsibility. Moreover, 62% of them say that they experience emotional duress in fulfilling their new role.  While instances of dementia are only bound to increase in the next few years, scientists have unveiled a new technology that might spare individuals of having to take care of these embattled patients.

Researchers from Singapore's Nanyan Technological University recently showcased a robot which they hope one day could give assistance to the elderly. The new humanoid robot, which the team named Nadine, is peculiarly human-like with her brown hair, soft skin and expressive face. Aside from the impressive aesthetic features, Nadine is also capable of expressing a wide range of emotions and recalling past conversations.

"If you leave these people alone they will be going down very quickly. So these people need to always be in interaction," explained Nadia Thalmann, creator of the recently unveiled robot.

Nadine has yet to be available in the market. However, Thalmann's team has since announced their intention to develop another robot that would conversely cater to children.

"A child has toys but they are usually passive. This robot will be an active toy which interacts with the child. It will be able to remember what the child likes" explained Thalmann. 

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