Thursday, January 3, 2008

Robotic pet therapy

Thanks to Yskat for sending this in :-

Singapore hospitals may get first robotic seals

The first thought I had was why a robotic animal when one could have a real one - but the article says it is to cut down on allergies, scratches, biting, and other inconveniences like having to work around volunteer's schedules, if they bring in live animals.

That's life isn't it? The whole point of life is that it IS messy and often inconvenient, but that's what makes is special. You can programme a robotic seal to replicate the behaviour of affection, but not affection itself. I'd take the real animal over a well-trained robot, programmed to show affection anytime. Kind of how I think most people would still have rather interaction with real people rather than robots. What's next? Replacing doctors and nurses with robots who don't spread infection, and who would be sure to give the 'right' clinical diagnosis based on the symptoms the patient shows?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Dawn. Going to miss you. Thanks for everything you've done for me and the cats I am involved in. I have learned so much since knowing you and cws.
Angela Chua- ac-b8

Dawn said...

Hi Angela, thanks for checking in! Please do keep in touch!

budak said...

Life in its natural state is also random and unpredictable, which are facets that many people here seem to fear and seek to reduce, by paving over what's left of untrammeled spaces.

That said, on cleanliness and messiness, there seems to be a very prevalent mental block in some people; you can try explaining to them that e.g. exposing children to the natural environment, letting them get dirty/muddy/touch animals won't kill them but rather fortify their immunity and ability to deal with falls/scrapes etc, but they still can't seem to understandg this reasoning or accept any option other than to remain clinically clean and sterile.

yskat said...

People are inherently contradictory when it comes to cleanliness. While they want their living environment to be germ-free, they also have no problems spending weekends in over-crowded places where diseases are most likely to spread. What matters seems to be perceived rather than "actual" cleanliness.

Dawn said...

budak - that's true. It's fear of the unknown perhaps too.

yskat - very true. What we don't 'know' won't hurt us.

Anonymous said...

yskat's remark is so true. Some parents would fuss about imaginary germs like 'dirty' cats that are metres away. Yet some would not hesitant to take kids to crowded shopping centres during sales. Gee i have seen new-borns (still red) in some really crowded places.

Chinky said...

Wait till you see children running and screaming in a hospital!! Hospitals are now built to look like some resorts that again, ignorant parents perceive them as "clean"!
And yet they will shoo their kids away from a cat!

Chinky said...

Just silly excuses to sell a product.
Typical Japanese cleanliness neurosis where the amount of "hygiene" disposable materials far outweigh the environmental awareness of the people!