Baby Robots Descend on Nursing Homes

Lindsay Mannering
2

old womanIf Grandma's birthday is around the corner, look no further for a gift. She always said you were so cute as a baby, and now is your chance to help her remember the days when you were adorable and gurgling. Meet Babyloid, a 4.8-pound robot that resembles an infant, but looks more like a fuzzy slipper with a big face. Its mouth and eyes can open, it can cry, and it can blush. It can also seriously creep you out at night when it watches you sleep.

Babyloid is designed to keep the elderly company. It keeps its owner busy by crying and fussing, thus fighting the symptoms of depression and loneliness common among senior citizens, especially those in retirement homes. Are Babyloids the Tamagotchi for old folks?

You remember Tamagotchis, don't you? Those keychain-sized digital pets that required constant attention? I think there was something to do with an egg hatching, as well. Anyway, kids loved them and across the nation the top drawers of teachers' desks are filled with them. So the makers of Babyloid (just a great name, isn't it?) saw an untapped market of attention-whore robots in the 65-plus arena and stepped up to the plate.

Normally any child-like robot would creep me out. Especially one like Babyloid that wiggles, cries, and smiles. I would just be waiting for it to kill me in my sleep with a bunch of its friends. But if this robot is going to bring people happiness, then I'm all for it. I'll admit I'm now a little afraid of walking into a senior home and seeing everyone caring for a mute Teddy Ruxpin-like doll as if it were real, but this isn't about me.

It's not yet confirmed that the old people realize they're not holding actual infants, but tomato, tomato. The Babyloid will go for $600, so stop blowing your money on meals out (me) and save up for Grandma for once.

What do you think of the Babyloid?


Photo via simaje/Flickr

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