An R2-D2 Inspired Robot Could Bring Happiness To Lonely Elderly People

Even if you disagree with them on politics, pop culture, and everything that you enjoy about life, you still love your grandparents. But what if they live far from you and you can’t visit them as often as you like? Just get them a robot companion! We are now living in the age where robots are cooking our meals and teaching our kids, so of course the next logical step in robotics would be to develop bots who play bridge and bingo with the early bird special crowd.

Kaname Hayashi, a Japanese scientist who previously created a humanoid robot named Pepper is currently developing a robot who could possibly be your grandmother’s new best friend. The cutting-edge robot will be very similar to everyone’s favorite droid, R2-D2. Unlike Rosie from the Jetsons or R2-D2’s pal, C-3PO, this robot will not be human-like at all. Hayashi spoke to the Daily Mail about his concept:

“We want to create a robot that can carry out communication on the subconscious level. The concept will be similar to Star Wars‘ R2-D2, or the BB8 droid featured in the newest film, which does not speak but still forms a relationship with humans.”

The new bot will be “able to read nonverbal social cues” and look for certain facial expressions as well as pick up on the strain of one’s voice to determine how they are feeling mood-wise. This R2-D2 homage will be launched by Japanese mobile carrier, Softbank in 2019 and will be priced at 198,000 yen or $1,900 USD. You’ll still probably get calls from your grandparents telling you that you have to come see them, though.

(Via Daily Mail)