Author: Marco van Beers
It’s not really a man, and it’s not really a robot. Nor is it a cyborg, although this might be the most accurate description. This $1 million dollar bionic something is a showcase of what we are currently capable of installing in human beings along with a look at the future of augmented biology.
End of Life Care Machine
Designer, artist and engineer Dan Chen has developed the ‘End of Life Care Machine‘, a machine designed to guide and comfort dying patients with a carefully scripted message. Chen, just graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, built the machine as one of a series of functional robots capable of reenacting human social behaviors.
The patient enters the specially designed room and lays on the bed. The doctor asks for permission to put the patient’s arm underneath the caressing mechanism.
“The device is activated, and an LED screen reads “Detecting end of life.” At this point, the doctor exits the room, leaving the patient alone by him or herself. Within moments the LED reads “End of life detected”, the robotic arm begins its caressing action, moving back and forth, stimulating the sense of comfort during the dying process.”
The machine then plays the scripted message: