What you are seeing here isn’t the latest toy robot from Wowwee, but a concept robot called the Oboe. I’m not certain why this robot is named after a woodwind instrument, because what it does has nothing to do with music.
Anyone care to guess what Oboe’s directive is? If you said “assist the elderly”, then you are half-right. Sadly, the Oboe isn’t designed to be mobile, so it cannot help with cooking or other household chores like the creepy one that lived with Will Smith’s grandmother in the I, Robot movie.
No, the Oboe is designed to stand still like a statue. What good is that? See that ball thing that the Oboe is holding in its hand? It is actually an odd type of hard disk drive that will absorb knowledge and experience of the senior citizen it is living with. This way, after the elderly person passes away, the Oboe will have recorded many of their important life experiences.
You might wonder why someone would build a robot holding this complicated life-recorder when all your grandmother or grandfather would need is the hard disk drive. Most senior citizens would not want a robot statue in their household, period.
Perhaps the robot is meant to be used as a reminder, after the elderly loved one has passed on. Yeah, that is a little weird. I guess there is a point where technology and mourning should not mix.
The Oboe is just a concept for now, but one can’t help but wonder if it is the shape of things to come. Will we have Oboe robots for all of our loved ones who have gone on? Now that is a dystopian vision of the future that I don’t want to live in.