Robot and Frank is a new film previewed at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. It presents & investigates relationships between an elderly man with early stage Alzheimer’s, a health/social/care equipped humanoid robot and Frank’s family members – in short a future care network!
I get the feeling that this film may well be the first of many similar media inspired themes which will begin to change the way we see robotics and the spaces of care. It also makes you wonder who financed this film and where the money will come from for future films of this genre – its clearly a space where large robotic consortium’s can and will showcase their technology. For me this demonstrates the need for urgent and comprehensive research which takes into account the social, ethical & moral dilemmas ahead regarding the gathering commercialism of robotic care for the elderly.
Robotics related research & development is a commercially aimed endeavor and the advantages of changing popular perceptions of robotics in general is obvious and clearly underway. If I’m not mistaken the robot in this film is based on Honda’s ASIMO and Sony have recently been announced as the new distributors of this film.
Robot and Frank is due for release in the UK in March 2013!