Show Details

Social Robots

February 22, 2017

Robots can help people help themselves.



Designing robots that care for us. I’m Bob Hirshon, and this is Science Update.

The popular notion of robots is that they do things for us. But USC roboticist Maja Mataric’s vision is for robots that help us do more for ourselves. It’s called socially assistive robotics, and at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mataric explained that for stroke patients, people with autism, and the elderly, robots can help monitor their safety, coach them through therapies, and motivate them to engage in healthy activities.

MAJA MATARIC (University of Southern California):

So we want to create machines that will actually help people when they don’t have human help and care, to get them to recover, to convalesce, to rehabilitate and to train, so they can get out there and do their own work, whatever that work may be.


Mataric says that with millions of people needing care and not enough human caretakers to provide all the hours they need, robots could play an important role. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon