Robotics and social services today
There are many emerging applications for robotic technologies in the social services sector. The main benefit of these technologies is their ability to act as a force multiplier in areas traditionally under-resourced, such as education. Robots are being trialled for behavioural and therapeutic interventions that can benefit social workers, teachers and police. Surveillance robots are being trialled in a range of settings and could be used in challenging operations, like prison security, or, to monitor OH&S in government workplaces. Robots are being trialled as teaching assistants and automation is predicted to free up more than 8 hours a week of teacher time in marking assignments and other repetitive tasks [ALB17]. Korea is trialling robots that will assist with teaching English, especially in regional areas which may not have access to native teachers at school. Healthcare and defence applications are covered separately in Chapters 6 and 8.