back to article Robot teddy bears attack Alzheimer's

If your granny has gone 'round the bend, Fujitsu has just the item to bring her back to the here and now: a robotic, theraputic teddy bear. This new high-tech teddy — labeled in Google-translatese as a "badger type Sosharurobotto child" — was designed by Fujitsu to treat geriatric dementia, and was revealed at the digital …

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  1. Grumpy Fellow
    Pint

    Not getting one for Dad

    I want one to keep my Furbies entertained. That should be a riot to watch!

  2. Ryan 7
    FAIL

    Yes, yes, the best thing to give to a dementia-suffering person is...

    A bear that MOVES and TALKS TO THEM! No, really, he TALKS TO ME!

  3. Ned Ludd

    I for one welcome our...

    etc

  4. Cunningly Linguistic

    I wonder if they'll put...

    voice synthesisers in them. That'll send the old dears right over the edge.

    "Hello doctor, that little furry child was talking to me"

    "I think we need to up this ones medication nurse".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wonder no more

      from the article: "he's equipped with... a synthesizer with the voice of a five-year-old boy"

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
        Pint

        The NoseCam (tm) Could...

        ...recognize when other people are in the room and cease all interaction/movement.

        "No No NOOOOOOoooo, really it talked to me." Be a great gift for the BOSS.

        When will they build one that can fetch me a beer?

  5. LaeMing Silver badge
    Terminator

    Lets put words in the bears' mouthes

    White Bear shouts: I WUF you!

    Brown Bear thinks: What a tosser!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    Two words...

    Teddy Ruxpin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Ruxpin

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Yes, but...

      That is clearly a toy, while this is an 'aid', which makes them wildly different.

      (At least in price... )

  7. Ed Deckard
    Heart

    May I be the first

    to welcome our kawaii fuzzy overlords.

    Seriously, I want one.

  8. Witty username
    Grenade

    Only a matter of time

    "and of course, these robots do not bite."

    yet

    >_>

    <_<

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It'll be like the ending of screamers all over again.

      Apart from the lack of space shuttle, obviously.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Sure!

    "..these robots do not bite.."

    Until the great teddy robot uprising that is

    1. Conrad Longmore
      Alert

      They're everywhere

      Not just the robot teddies.. they're everywhere watching you all the time with those little beady eyes.. remember to be nice to your teddies, they have long memories.

      1. Yesnomaybe

        No.

        They're everywhere watching you all the time with that little beady nose.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well...

    Thats one great thing to freak out Nan.

    "I am loosing my mind... This teddy bear talks to me..."

    5 minutes later...

    "I am loosing my mind... This teddy bear talks to me..."

    5 minutes later...

  11. Not Installed Properly

    Default command setting...Crush. Kill. Destroy

    Why was I programmed to feel pain...? etc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Also:

      "Tempers are wearing thin. Let's hope some robot doesn't kill everybody."

    2. Charlie van Becelaere

      Yours not to question why;

      yours to do as I say or die.

      I for one welcome our furry badger child servants of stowaway would-be saboteur scientist overlords.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    no way

    My mother has Alzheimer's. It effects her short term memory at the moment. If I provided this to her, she'd be insulted. Alzheimer's is no laughing matter, not for the person it effects or the family around them. It ruins the lives of all those involved. Its interaction with real people that helps, not some silly toy. It would have better if they'd given the money wasted on this to a charity or for research.

    There is a 1 in 3 chance your parent or partner will get this terrible disease. It not only effects the old, but people are now getting it in their 40's and 50's.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (happy now ? stupid title)

      I think that this device is for late stage sufferers.

      It has the potential to help and won't judge etc.

      Of course it would be better for the condition to be cured, but until then anything that can help is good.

    2. Count Ludwig
      Boffin

      therapeutic tool

      "Its interaction with real people that helps, not some silly toy."

      I don't think that's necessarily true. The teddy can give consistent responses, is non-threatening, and can be used by the patient to safely try out different behaviours (such as strategies for coping with their condition, or physical exercises) that they might be reluctant to do with a human.

      But I would expect they need human interaction too, although I'm not a doctor.

  13. TeeCee Gold badge
    Happy

    ROTM?

    Don't worry about it. Everyone knows* that attacking Teddy Bears are simple to defeat as they go down easily to a poke in the gut with a candy cane.

    *Well, anyone well read enough......

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A very Japanese thing

    I'm assuming this was tested with Japanese test subjects, and of course there's the Japanese gadgetry fetish. I don't suppose this'll even work for westerners, though it might be entertaining envisioning how it might and then what it'd look like.

    In the meantime, my brain flashed me images of camo bears for vets and urban camo bears for.... I need to bleach my brain now.

  15. Kris Whitmore
    Go

    RE: no way

    The makers of this are not laughing at Alzheimers, the fact is very little is known about the causes and as a result how best to help. Somebody has tried something a little bit left field which, initial results show, might just help a little bit. Okay so it's not a cure but surely you must welcome anything which has a chance of helping.

    It was also produced by a commercial company, not a charity. Okay they will be hoping to make money out of it but it's still better than a lot of things people make money out of (I'm thinking weapons etc)

    Now giving it to someone who doesn't have alzheimers, that would be an insult!

  16. Alain Moran
    Badgers

    Now I know what I want for christmas

    Yay, that's pretty cool .. I want one :D

  17. MinionZero
    Happy

    Yes!

    Teddies today, Terminators tomorrow, Robots in disguise!

    1. lawndart

      Deffo!

      Toyminators.

      It's something to do with the transperambulation of pseudo-cosmic antimatter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        "Toyminators"

        "Toyminators"

        Love it, it sounds exactly like how Mickey (from Rocky 1-3) would pronounce Terminator.

  18. Gusty O'Windflap

    no its really a plot by Zelda

    from TerraHawks!

  19. Code Monkey

    If I ever get Alzheimer's...

    ...do not get me a sinister talking teddy bear!

  20. Roger Kynaston
    Coat

    Please can we have

    a film with Will Smith chasing cuddly toys around a fictitious future dystopian city.

  21. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    There's a plot for an episode of The Avengers in this

    Talking teddy bears instruct biddies to rob various banks, post offices and stately homes...

    "Mrs Peel? We're needed!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Well...

    Don't think your Nan would say that as she will come from a generation that learnt to spell before the internet. Unless you are a total looser it is spelt LOSING.

    Then again she may be from the 60s generation and is thinking that she is dealing with dementia by taking halocinogenic drugs to loose her mind from its normal confines ... and sees this as the only rational explanation as to why a teddy bear is talking to her.

    1. Bryce 2
      FAIL

      Heh

      Skitt's Law.

      It's loser.

      1. Brutus
        FAIL

        @Bryce 2

        Skitt's Law. Oh, the irony!

        Looser ;-)

      2. Code Monkey

        Deliberate?

        I thought it was a deliberate "looser".

  23. Roger Stenning

    Remember the movie AI?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDgecjYaCCA

  24. Mage Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Which story...

    The kids are all socially conditioned by their "robotic"/Computer cuddly bear/terminal/friend.

    The dissident group tampers with the programming of one Child's Mentor .

    What could possibly go wrong when they extend this to kids?

    Maybe Harry Harrison's "I always do what Teddy says" from "Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows"

    (probably!)

    But also could be a Ray Bradbury or Philip K Dick. Too dark I think for Asimov or A.C. Clarke

    Not Teddy by Brian Aldiss. I probably don't want to ever watch Spielberg's AI, the film version.

    Not The Rowan, by Anne McCaffrey. A rosier tinted view.

    I'm sure I've read all the above.

  25. JohnG

    Dogs vs. robot bears

    "Robot therapy offers advantages such as not having any of the hygiene-related problems that can accompany animals and of course, these robots do not bite."

    Dog poo to be replaced by leaking or exploding batteries. Thinking about hygiene - these things will need to be washable or they will end up smelling of old people i.e. piss.

    Most dogs (and cats, for that matter) appear to be well acquainted with the concept of "not biting the hand that feeds you".

    1. Dave Bell

      Animals

      The behavior of family pets is something that Social Services note in their paperwork, when dealing with the elderly. But it can be a complication, when an elderly person is caring for a cat.

      At least this contraption doesn't have to be coaxed out of cupboards when the human is rushed to hospital.

      Right now, I get the sense of a bit too much hype, but Japan, in particular, does have a significant population time bomb, and they are looking at ways of taking advantage of machines.

  26. AceRimmer1980
    Heart

    I am *not* a toy

    But will it last all summer?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Hmmmmm

    So let me get this straight, a motorised teddy bear with a camera in its nose.... so... naughty people can equip it with a wi-fi connection and a little bit of hackery-pokery and voila... not the best item of technology to have in your house....

    Although in ur girlfriends house is a different matter i suspect !!!

  28. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Tanuki

    If Google translate says badger, look for 狸 or タヌキ in the original Japanese. Tanuki is often mistranslated as badger or raccoon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanuki

    1. Code Monkey

      Conkers

      So where are their unfeasably large bollocks?

  29. CD001

    So...

    So, when I've got Alzheimer's and am only able to remember events that happened in my youth whilst lying in a bed, doubtless with white linen sheets, in some institution and a freaky teddy bear starts walking across the room towards me - I'll be expecting it to start bleeding milk...

    KANEDA!!!

  30. Whitey_d
    Alert

    Old Glory Insurance

    As a senior citizen, you're probably aware of the threat robots pose. Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people's medicine for fuel.

    Old Glory Insurance. For when the metal ones decide to come for you - and they will.

  31. David Paul Morgan
    FAIL

    get a cat

    I'd rather my mother had a cat. Ginger Tom or black&white Sylvester.

    I agree with the poster above, this is an insult.

  32. sauerkraut
    Heart

    would be interesting

    to watch 2 of those bastards interact with each other!

  33. cmantito
    Grenade

    BOFH?

    This reminds me of two of the recent BOFH episodes. Think what THEY could do with these >:)

  34. skellious
    Thumb Up

    nice to see a new ROTM tag

    Now you may all return to quaking in fear while waiting for the inevitable to happen.

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