Pearl NurseBot lives to serve the elderly

PEARL NurseBot

You know, we've seen some NurseBots in our time, but never one quite so, um, homely. Given that EMMA didn't have much in the way of personality, but Pearl, here — oh dear. The deal here is that the Pearl autonomous mobile robot is designed to appeal to the elderly with an "expressive countenance" — but without looking too human because that creeps people out (tell us about it). She's endowed with a small vocabularly an some limited, machine-like AI in an experiment to try to improve the social interactions between orga and meccha. An interesting endeavor, but as Medgadget points out — are aid-dependent seniors really the ideal target population to beta-test this level of integration with our robotic overlords?