Credit: Quartz

Inside China’s experiment to find friends for 230 million old people

Qing Zhang was born in central China in 1929 in a village that didn’t have a single light bulb. Now, at the age of 88, she lives in a nursing home that’s using robots to help care for her.

The privately-owned Long Shan Nursing Home is one of a few dozen early testing sites for caregiving robots in China. The home has been experimenting with three robots since August 2016.

Doctors and nurses use two smaller robots, a bit like person-shaped rolling smartphones. They can track blood pressure and other basic health data, but also help residents video chat with their family or look at photos. The third robot is something completely different: a pink and white child-sized bot whose sole purpose is to keep residents company.

Jacob Templin and Mike Murphy in Quartz.

(More – Quartz explores more stories of ‘humans who are navigating the complex reality of a world where machines have brains’.)