Build an army of Thai robots to break out of middle-income trap

your say February 14, 2018 01:00

Re: “Carer robot wired to succeed after Japan market breakthrough”, Corporate, January 27, and “Into the loving arms of robots”, Opinion, January 28.

In our new normal of an ageing society, robots could soon become the helper of choice for elderly relatives while not isolating them from the love and concern of their grown-up children.

Chalermpon Punnotok, founder and CEO of CT Asia Robotics, has shown vision by creating an elderly care robot named the Dinsow mini (the name reflects its ease of use and cuteness). Chalermpon’s creation has put Thailand on the map as an innovator in robotics, a fast-growing global market.

How does Dinsow mini work? If its elderly owner should suffer a fall, the robot sends “emergency information” immediately to their relative’s smartphone, including image processing it uses to monitor its charge even in the dark. Dinsow mini can then answer any incoming video call so that relatives can assess the situation. If its elderly owner needs urgent help, he or she can press the “emergency” button on Dinsow mini’s head and it will alert relatives or doctors.

The robot also serves as a friend by inviting them to listen to dharma or music, exercise, play games, or view family photos, all via its touchscreen.

Dinsow mini has a “telemedicine” programme enabling users to talk and consult with a doctor, it monitors blood pressure and heart rate to help diagnose problems that might need medical intervention, and it reminds users when it’s time to take medicines.

Like a nurse and a caregiver during lonely times at home, this fantastic invention offers a big boost to quality of life in old age.

It has also gained international acceptance, notably in Japan, the global pioneer in robotics. And this year it will be exported to Germany and Singapore as well.

The creation of Dinsow mini shows that Thailand has the potential to develop a commercial robotics industry on a global scale. 

Taking inspiration from this elderly-care machine, Thai entrepreneurs could branch out into manufacturing robots for other purposes and hone the spearhead of innovation that we need to escape from the middle-income trap.

Sutipunt Bongsununt

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