Dying alone in a hospital could be a thing of a past after a Rhode Island artist unveiled a robot that offers sympathy and comfort for people during their final moments in life.
Designer Dan Chen, from Rhode Island, created The Last Moment Robot to pose questions about ethics, humanity, and the potential role of robots for care.
It was displayed at an interactive art installation called Last Moment Hospital and at Brown University Science Center, also in Rhode Island. The Daily Mail reported.
The Last Moment Robot gently rubs patient' arm with a swing-saw motion and then, with a metallic voice, says: "I am the Last Moment Robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on Earth.
"I am sorry that your family and friends can't be with you right now, but don't be afraid. I am here to comfort you. You are not alone, you are with me. Your family and friends love you very much, they will remember you after you are gone."
Crave, an artist, designer, and engineer who just graduated from the School of Design in Rhode Island, said the design "reveals the cruelty of life, lack of human support/social connections."
"On the other hand, the robot becomes something that you can trust/depend on. It could give you the 'placebo effect' of comfort," he said
Chen has built various other loving machines, such as a 'hugging robot' and a 'purring machine'.
But he said that the device is meant to raise questions.
"The process of dying is probably the most vulnerable moment of a human life, where one seeks the assurance of human connection. In this installation, human presence is replaced with a robot, questioning the quality of intimacy without humanity," he said.