Nadine is a human-like robot that is under development as a companion for people with dementia.
(Nadine healthcare robot)
The 1.7-metre tall Nadine was created in the likeness of its maker, Nadia Thalmann, a visiting professor and director of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University's Institute of Media Innovation who has spent three decades researching into virtual humans.
Nadine's software allows the robot to express a range of emotions and recall a previous conversation. Nadine is not commercially available, but Thalmann predicted robots could one day be used as companions for people living with dementia.
"If you leave these people alone they will be going down very quickly. So these people need to always be in interaction," Thalmann said, adding Nadine could provide conversation, tell a story or play a simple game.
Philip K. Dick also thought about how robots could help the elderly. Here's what he says about robants in his 1953 short story The Impossible Planet:
Behind Norton came a withered old woman. Beside her moved a gleaming robant, a towering robot servant, supporting her with his arm. The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...
"Irma Vincent Gordon," Andrews murmured. He glanced up. "Is that right?"