Coming soon: Robo nurses?

Coming soon: Robo nurses? Coming soon: Robo nurses, say
scientists who claim to be developing such interactive robots
capable of caring for the sick or elderly.
The scientists have already have built prototypes
with features reminiscent of the Cadbury`s Smash martians that
featured in the popular Seventies TV advertisements, the
`Daily Express` reported.

Prof Peter McOwan is heading the European Union-funded
four-year project involving specialists from seven countries.

"Our research aims to develop software, based on
biology, that will allow robots to interact with humans in the
most natural way, understanding things like personal space.
"These will be able to recognise human expressions and
make expressive movements in response. This technology could
in future improve standards of hospital care which are facing
the growing pressure of increasing demand," he added.

The scientists, who exhibited their research at
the recent Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, have used
psychologists to give instruction about polite social rules.

The robots are also being built with a set of
instructions about body posture and personal space which can
be tailored to individual people, says the team.

The scientists hope that the machines could also be
used to create interactive children`s toys and office helpers.