Detecting End of Life

News / Updates

The mother of all latest gadgets and apps is the ‘Last Moment Robot’, created by Chinese-born Dan Chen, an artist, designer and engineer who nowadays resides in Eugene, Oregon.

This is the robot talking:

“I am the Last Moment Robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on Earth. I am sorry that your family and friends can’t be with you right now, but don’t be afraid. I am here to comfort you. You are not alone, you are with me. Your family and friends love you very much, they will remember you after you are gone.”

Once the patient lies down and the device is activated, LEDs display the words “Detecting end of life.” At this point, the ‘doctor’ exits the room, leaving the patient alone. Within moments, the LEDs read “End of life detected,” and the robotic arm begins its back-and-forth caressing action in what is supposed to be a comforting gesture that Chen says tends to cause visitors a “paradoxical sensation of comfort and discomfort.”

However, this robot is not yet ear-marked for the assembly line but is an ‘Interactive End of Life Hospital Installation’.

last moment app
A visitor to Dan Chen’s “Last Moment Hospital” interacts with the Last Moment Robot. (Credit: Dan Chen)

As reported by CNET, Chen built the machine as one of a series of functional robots capable of reenacting human social behaviours. He said, “The device is meant to raise questions. The process of dying is probably the most vulnerable moment of a human life, where one seeks the assurance of human connection. In this installation, human presence is replaced with a robot, questioning the quality of intimacy without humanity.”

“It reveals the cruelty of life, lack of human support/social connections,” he continued. “On the other hand, the robot becomes something that you can trust/depend on. It could give you the ‘placebo effect’ of comfort.”

Now where did I put those Bardo tapes?

Bhagawati, Osho News


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