Soon elderly people would get care and companionship from robots developed by scientists in Bristol.
One of the projects of Bristol Robotics Laboratory, called Mobiserv, uses a robot that can help with tasks like ordering the shopping and reminding elderly people when to take their medication.
Another robotic device helps users to regain strength in their hand after a stroke.
And there is also a machine, which has been designed to look like a human with realistic facial expressions that help to convey emotions.
Professor Heinz Wolff, the star of the 1980s science program The Great Egg Race, was involved in the development of some early devices to help the elderly but he does not think machines could ever replace face-to-face human contact.
"I'm quite sure that when you are the venerable age that I've reached and somebody says your robot is going to be delivered tomorrow and it will look after you, you will be a little unhappy," Wolff said.
"You might wonder how nice it would be to have someone who had warm hands and someone who cares and gives you a peck on the cheek. Mind you, a robot could kiss you I suppose - imagine being kissed by a robot," he added.