One of the Atlantic's photos of the week is this face of the remote-controlled humanoid Telenoid at a nursing home in Natori, Japan on March 13, 2017.
This is the first case of a Telenoid being installed at a nursing home in the world. The 2.7 kg humanoid enables the operator to communicate with the elderly over long distance, with its camera and microphone capturing the voice and movements of an operator and projecting them through its body to the elderly. The nursing home staff have seen elderly patients, especially those with dementia, becoming more active and positive to communicate when they communicate with the Telenoids. Telenoids cost 1,000,000 JPY (approximately $8,700) and can be rented for 50,000 JPY (about $435) per month.
Just as a Geriatric Crime Wave is sweeping across Japan
Japan's prison system is being driven to budgetary crisis by demographics, a welfare shortfall and a new, pernicious breed of villain: the recidivist retiree. And the silver-haired crooks, say academics, are desperate to be behind bars.
Crime figures show that about 35 per cent of shoplifting offenses are committed by people over 60. Within that age bracket, 40 per cent of repeat offenders have committed the same crime more than six times. There is good reason, concludes a report, to suspect that the shoplifting crime wave in particular represents an attempt by those convicted to end up in prison — an institution that offers free food, accommodation and healthcare.
Between 1991 and 2013, the latest year for which the Ministry of Justice publishes figures, the number of elderly inmates in jail for repeating the same offense six times has climbed 460 per cent.