Films like Robot and Frank and I, Robot, as well as animated television shows like The Jetsons, have portrayed a future where robotic servants undertake household chores, allowing families to spend more time together and for elderly people to remain independent for longer.

A future of robotic carers is closer than we may realise. Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers are already available while there has been a massive uptake of assistive technologies for elder care in Japan. Middlesex University’s robot Pepper recently appeared before a parliamentary select committee in the UK to answers questions about the role of robots in education.

Carer robots, on the other hand, are a relatively recent phenomenon. With people living longer there is a growing population of elderly people who will require assistance with their daily lives. However, a lack of available carers means we could have an adult-care crisis in the near future. Japan, for example, is facing a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025.