The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending roughly $1.2 million to use robots to dress the elderly.
Citing an aging population, the federal agency issued a grant this month that will teach robots how they can assist old people in picking out an outfit.
“The aging population, rising healthcare costs, and shortage of healthcare workers in the United States create a pressing need for affordable and effective personalized care,” the NSF grant said. “Physical disabilities due to illness, injury, or aging can result in people having difficulty dressing themselves, and the healthcare community has found that dressing is an important task for independent living.”
“The goal of this research is to develop techniques that enable robots to assist people with putting on clothing, which is a challenging task for robots due to the complexities of cloth, the human body, and robots,” the grant said.
The work will involve a computer simulation that can mix and match numerous outfit combinations.