Robots able to understand aspects of culture and have a good beside manner could be the future of elderly care, researchers have claimed.
A new international team of academics is working on a £2 million project which aims to develop humanoid robots versatile enough to look after those in care homes.
Researchers from Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire are among those involved in the project, which will look to create social robots which can assist in every day tasks such as helping with medication, as well as offering companionship.
The hope is that such robots, if created, could help to ease the pressure on hospitals and care homes struggling to deal with an ageing population.
In Japan, the Pepper robots manufactured by Softbank Robotics are already in use in thousands of homes as assistants, while other bots are also being used in some Japanese hospitals to help with lifting patients and serving food.
The researchers say they help to expand on these uses and improve their ability to sense if an elderly person is unwell or uncomfortable.
Pepper robots are already able to recognise some human emotions through facial recognition.
In the final year of the three-year project, the new robots that are created will be tested at Advinia Healthcare care homes based in the UK.