Blackwood Gallery | Care, Automated

The habit of attaching “care” to innately positive attributes obscures its entanglement with dominant systems of power and control. The ambivalence of care is crisply reflected in technological configurations of care/work. In this workshop, seven researchers share their inquiries into intersections of care and technology, in particular, automation. Questioning technological fixes to care crisis, Care,…

Social Robots: Human-Machine Configurations – Transformations Journal No. 29, 2017

Human-machine relationships are being transformed by robots increasingly performing social roles such as teachers, carers and companions. This arrival of social robots is challenging understandings of human-machine relationships and generating diverse aesthetic, ethical and political debates. Matters of interest include asymmetries in human-robot relationships, the co-constitution of humans and robots, the place of robot labour,…

A sociable robot to encourage social interaction among the elderly

In this paper, we present evidence that although current models for introduction of robotic companions stress individual encounters, a social community alternative is promising. This argument emerges from an experiment we conducted with a small interactive robot at two local nursing homes. Here we give a brief introduction to the robot and our experience at…

The robot in the kitchen: The cultural politics of care-work and the development of in-home assistive technology

This paper considers two trends at opposite ends of the new economy: low-paid in-home care work, and the development of high-tech “social” robots. At present, the work of caring for the elderly, disabled, and convalescents is done primarily by women (disproportionately women of color) in the space of the home (Pratt, 1999). Meanwhile, in robotics…

Care Robots for an Over-Aging Society: A Technical Solution for Japan’s Demographic Problem?

Japan has the world's longest life expectancy and highest proportion of older people in its population. As a result, the delivery of old-age care is becoming an urgent and high priority issue for the Japanese government. There is a high demand for care within a society whose population is constantly aging, and within this discrepancy,…

Robots and human dignity: A consideration of the effects of robot care on the dignity of older people

This paper explores the relationship between dignity and robot care for older people. It highlights the disquiet that is often expressed about failures to maintain the dignity of vulnerable older people, but points out some of the contradictory uses of the word ‘dignity’. Certain authors have resolved these contradictions by identifying different senses of dignity;…