All posts by V

Twitter: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Throughout this semester, students studying Future Cultures have been live-tweeting and engaging with each other during the screening of media which either depicted or depicts the future. Below you will be able to follow my own week by week summary of how I engaged with the media and my cohort of students. I will briefly describe the in-class discussion before reflecting through the means of “the good, the bad and, the ugly”. I chose not to use Storify as I wasn’t sure I’d be proactive enough to export my data from the site before May 16.

Week One – Ghost In The Shell 1995

During week one of the session we were introduced to the key themes of the subject; cybernetics, cyberpunk and cyberculture. We looked into the way in which Vannevar Bush (1945) ‘As We May Think’ was able to predict or either shape the nature of modern computing through…

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Healthcare Robots

Since my last post discussing my interest in researching the future use of robots in mental health treatment, I have received feedback from the audience of the Future Cultures blog and Chris Moore which has lead to me altering the nature of my area of research to examining the use of robotics in the sphere of healthcare, in present day, whilst also speculating upon the potential future uses of robotics in the medical field, based upon representations in popular culture.

In this post, I will discuss the current state of robotics used in healthcare and the academic research shaping the future of medical robotics and share any newsworthy information related to the applications of healthcare robots.

A quick Wikipedia search reveals that there are several types of medical robots currently in use, these include:

Surgical Robots: robots capable of assisting or performing surgery

Rehabilitation Robots: robots like PARO who assist…

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Robotics the future of mental health care?

Mental illness is one of the most prevalent health issues affecting the Australian population. According to the Black Dog Institute and Dementia Australia around 20% of the population will suffer a mental illness in any given year, with 45% of Australians suffering a mental illness at one point in their life, and an estimated 91,000 people, and rising, will be diagnosed with a form of dementia per year. Australia’s health system currently struggles to cope with the demand for mental health services for those affected by mental illness with many sufferers, especially in regional areas, struggling to access the essential health services they require.  

Could social or therapeutic robotics play a part in aiding and relieving some of the strain on mental health services? How viable is it? What would that look like? What are the benefits? How soon could this become a reality? Are robots currently being used in this way? Is it ethical? Could there be a social cost to using robots in a therapeutic manner? I would like to find…

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