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Frank Langella and friend in ROBOT & FRANK. Courtesy Sony Pictures.

The film ROBOT & FRANK is set in the near future and presents an age where senior citizens have their health care needs administered by sophisticated robot companions. Frank Langella plays an aging thief in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease who initially resents his mechanical guardian, but then figures out a way to reprogram the robot and use it as an unwitting accomplice for future heists.

That aspect of the film is not very convincing, but ROBOT & FRANK is quite interesting in the way it plausibly presents a time where this sort of robot/human interaction is taken for granted. Last December, IBM announced a robot companion designed to aid seniors who live on their own. With the increasing number of aged people in both Canada and the United States, nursing care beds are growing scarce and wait lists are often oppressively long. Governments are now encouraging people to age in place for as long as possible and while this is good from a psychological standpoint, a person’s declining physical and mental health can make their home potentially dangerous.

IBM’s Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant has sensors that would detect changes in the environment that could pose a threat (eg. oven burners left on) and react accordingly. It could note when physical emergencies take place, such as a fall or worrisome vital signs.

Ideally, the units are most effective when they already possess a good deal of data about the person. As this can be difficult to obtain from some seniors, ambient censors would do much of the collection and the robot helper would then download the information.

Such companions are still a few years away from general use, but could prove to be a very important addition to health care. With the quantity of elderly people surpassing the number of children born each year in some countries, robots will have to step into caregiver roles previously assumed by family members and professional care workers.

Tertill is the new project led by the inventors of the Roomba. The Boston-based Franklin Robotics is currently raising funds for their first release.
Tertill is a solar-powered, robotic weed-killer for home gardens. The 2.5-pound, disk-shaped robot patrols the garden and intelligently identifies and whacks unwanted plants.
Franklin Robotics
Word is spreading quickly across the gardening and robotics worlds, and in the first five days of Tertill's Kickstarter campaign it reached its goal. Now with just over a day of crowdfunding left, Franklin Robotics has raised over 250 percent of their goal.

After dozens of Kickstarter backers from Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, and more have pushed for international delivery of Tertill prototypes, Franklin Robotics has decided to open up shipping to the entire world.
The robot uses unique design elements and a variety of sensors to patrol the garden daily, avoid plants and obstacles, and look for weeds to eliminate.

The robot has a simple method of telling weeds from desirable plants: weeds are short, plants are tall. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill's shell activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. A plant short enough to pass under the shell activates a different sensor and turns on the weed cutter. Franklin Robotics provides protective collars to put around short plants and seedlings until they are tall enough for Tertill to recognize.

By now, you probably know that, as of March 1st 2016, new training requirements for JHSC members were put into effect for Ontario workplaces. These changes to the 1996 training standards came about in order to bring greater consistency and quality to these training programs.

The curriculum is becoming more interactive and streamlined, aimed at delivering more thorough education when it comes to safety in the workplace.

These policy updates also encompass legislative updates and more up-to-date fundamentals of learning. If you’re a business with 20 or more employees it’s important to understand the provincial certification for joint health & safety requirements, and how they impact your organization.

Some key takeaways from the new joint health and safety committee policy include:

  1. If you completed certification training before the new requirements, you’ll be certified for life and won’t be required to complete refresher training (unless you switch industry sectors).
  2. If you get certified following March 1st of this year, you’ll now have to complete a refresher course every 3 years in order to keep your status. No more certification for life!
  3. Training consists of two parts with a mandatory instructor: a minimum of 3 days for part 1 and 2 for part two of the training program. The new refresher training takes one day to complete.
  4. Self-training is a thing of the past! No more e-courses and workbooks – the ministry feels that instructors will provide a higher quality of learning.
  5. Training and all refresher training has to be completed through a training that’s approved by the Ministry of Labour. That means that business can no longer perform it in-house, unless they get certified though the ministry.
  6. Chief Prevention Officers will feel the impact of this policy change: they’ll now have new criteria for approving programs for JHSC certification training, as well as training providers for these programs.

Safety First Workplace

While these changes may seem more inconvenient to business owners, proper education can make the workplace a safer place for everyone. It’s important to be aware of and understand the current expectations for JHSC training and information in Ontario, in order to ensure worker safety and prepare for government inspections.

momWelcome to Millivres Multimedia!  My name is Millie and I started this blog to write down the thoughts and rambles that go on in my head.  I'm a stay at home mother who recently just had a baby girl.  I used to be a teacher but ever since I found out I was pregnant, I decided to be at stay at home mom.  Since I was so used to talking and being in a social environment, I decided to start this blog so I could continue doing that.

I've been doing a lot of research into health and lifestyle choices so most of my posts will be on topics related to health.  My husband also works in construction, so I'm constantly worried about the risks in his job.  I'll be blogging about anything from healthy foods to policies in the government.  Nothing will be off topic, and I'm super excited to start blogging!