92 Just ordinAry robots
Additionally, there will be a gap between the type of care needed and
the type of care that is available: people prefer more and more to live
in their own homes as long as possible instead of being institutional-
ized in sheltered homes or nursing homes when problems related to
aging arise (Broekens, Heerink, & Rosendal, 2009). is also keeps
political circles busy. e European Commission (2012), for example,
foresees rising demand for care, and has opted for innovation in health
care by encouraging investment in labor-saving technologies, such as
robotics. e expectation is that the use of robots will improve the
quality of, access to, and eciency of health care for everyone: more
care will be delivered, the care recipient will exert more inuence over
their own care process, and a lower number of professionals will real-
ize a higher workload than is currently the case. e government in
Japan also wants to address the aging problem with the use of care
robots (Lau, van’t Hof, & van Est, 2009).
e use of robotics in care starts with home automation (domot-
ics). Domotics literally combines the words domestic and robotics,
that is, home robotics or, in other words, home automation technology.
BOX 3.1 AGING
Aging is dened as an increase in the number of persons aged
65years and over compared with the rest of the population.
According to the European Commission (2012), the proportion
of those aged 65years and over is projected to rise from 17% in
2010 to 30% in 2060, with the peak occurring around 2040.
Moreover, it is expected that people will be living longer: life
expectancy at birth is projected to increase from 76.6years in
2010 to 84.6 in 2060 for males and from 82.5 to 89.1 for females.
One out of ten people aged 65years and over will be older than
80. In Japan, the country with the highest proportion of elderly
citizens, the population is also rapidly aging; 23% of the popula-
tion was already older than 65years in 2010, predicted to rise to
31% by 2030,* and in the United States, 13% were over the age
of 65 in 2009, expected to rise to around 19% by 2030.