Is Katsuhiro Otomo's sci-fi satire Roujin Z becoming a reality? Maybe so, according to Phenomenica. Scientists at the University of West England in Bristol are developing a complex robotic assistant to care for the elderly. The machine monitors the user's health, schedules medicine, and communicates via voice recognition.
In Roujin Z, scientists develop a robotic bed to care for an invalid patient, but things go comically awry when the bed is programmed with an AI that simulates the subject's deceased wife. The 1991 animated film never seemed to connect with American anime fans, probably due to its lack of frenetic action, but for those looking for an interesting science-fiction film they've never seen, I'd give it a definite recommend.
The researchers in Bristol may have an uphill battle to climb in getting their product out onto the market. I understand its use, but I'd prefer a personal touch during my last days. Would you choose a robot to care for your loved ones over an actual human being?