Part of a larger smart-home environment
A highly customisable robot companion designed by EU-funded researchers to offer support to older people is currently being presented across Europe and could find its way into people’s homes within two or three years, potentially greatly enhancing quality of life for older citizens and people with memory or mobility problems.
The robot, a mobile wheeled semi-humanoid figure equipped with cameras, sensors, audio and a touch screen interface, can remind users to take their medicine, suggest they have their favourite drink or prompt them to go for a walk or visit friends if they haven’t been out for a while. As part of a larger smart-home environment that can include smart clothing to monitor vital signs, the system can monitor user’s health and safety, and alert emergency services if something is amiss.
‘Across Europe, populations are growing older, and many people need care in some way. Care may be provided by professionals at home or in a care facility, but often the caregiver is the person’s partner or another family member. What we are seeing is that carers may also need additional support themselves, especially if they are also older – our vision is that technology can provide it,’ explains Mr Herjan van den Heuvel of Smart Homes, the Dutch Expertise Centre on Home Automation and Smart Living, which oversaw the robot’s development.
The median age across the European Union’s current 28 Member States, which was around 41.2 years in 2011, is projected to rise to 47.6 years by 2060, while the number of people aged 65 and over will almost double to make up 29.5 % of the population, according to Eurostat’s latest population projections. Meanwhile, the percentage of people aged 80 and above is expected to triple by 2060.
With age-related illnesses also set to increase in line with that trend, more and more people across Europe will need care and assistance if they are to maintain their quality of life, stay healthy and avoid social exclusion.
Developed over 33 months by a consortium of research institutes, universities and technology companies in seven European countries – Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – the companion robot helps address those issues. It is just one of several results of an EU-funded project titled ‘An integrated intelligent home environment for the provision of health, nutrition and well-being services to older adults’ ( MOBISERV), which received EUR 2.75 million in research funding from the European Commission.
Smart homes, smart clothes and smart support
‘This has been a very broad project, we’ve worked not only on the robot but also integrating it with a smart-home system and with smart clothes,’ Mr Van den Heuvel notes.
Smart fabrics – which can take the form of wearable garments or even bed sheets – include a variety of tiny light-weight wireless sensors to monitor vital signs or sleeping patterns, and can even detect if the wearer falls over. Meanwhile, the smart-home environment consist of smart sensors, optical recognition units, and home automation elements, to detect, amongst other things, eating and drinking patterns, activity patterns, and dangerous situations.
‘The system can be used in its entirety for someone who needs extensive care, or only some components of it can be used to suit the needs of each individual. The technology can therefore be applied in a modular and flexible way,’ Mr Van den Heuvel says.
He notes, however, that the robot is probably the most eye-catching and innovative element of the system.
Based on state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and robotics technologies, the MOBISERV robot companion is designed above all to offer cognitive support to users, offering reminders and suggestions to help them lead healthy and socially active lives.
‘It lacks arms so it’s not going to make you coffee but it is going to suggest that maybe you would like a coffee or some other drink if you haven’t drunk anything in a while,’ Mr Van den Heuvel explains.
By monitoring user’s behaviour, the robot can learn to approach users at appropriate times, talk to them or provide information via a touchscreen interface. Users can respond by talking back or using the touchscreen. It can offer suggestions such as ‘Are you feeling hungry?’, ‘Hey, don’t forget to take your pills in the blue box’ or ‘How about calling your friend today?’
‘The way the robot behaves, what it says, how it says it, even the tone of voice can be customised for each person,’ Mr Van den Heuvel says.
Crucially, the MOBISERV team created an easy-to-use interface to configure the robot so a carer, partner, family member – or someone else who knows the user well – can personalise it for their individual needs and preferences, setting everything from the robot and user’s name to the user’s preferred drink, their friends and the type of character the robot should have. In the future, the researchers also envision being able to customise the design and colour of the robot.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Robots help patients stay connectedon March 6, 2021 at 4:47 am
The patients and families continue to be excited about them. The kids are completely into this new technology and they want to jump right into using it,” patient activity specialist Jalessa Warren ...
- Personal Robots Market Would Grow Significant CAGR by 2027 | COVID19 Impact Analysison March 5, 2021 at 2:37 pm
Personal Robots Market study by The Insight Partners provides details about the market dynamics affecting the market Market scope Market segmentation and overlays shadow upon the leading market ...
- Amazon has a Roomba robot vacuum on sale today for only $224on March 5, 2021 at 1:08 pm
Robot vacuums have grown to become so popular over the past few years, which is great because it means that there is something out there for everyone. Whether you want to spend as little as ...
- The Robot Will See You Nowon March 5, 2021 at 1:43 am
While shades of “The Terminator” might cross one’s mind, a telehealth-ready robot sporting a tablet computer with a real-time video link to a human clinician is an acceptable substitute for in-person ...
- Berlin: Maria Schrader on Turning Dan Stevens Into a German-Speaking Love Robot in 'I'm Your Man'on March 4, 2021 at 1:25 am
Maria Schrader, in an interview about Berlin Film Festival competition entry 'I'm Your Man,' discusses turning Dan Stevens into a German-speaking love robot.
- Pharmaceutical Robots Market Size Worth $297.4 Million By 2028: Grand View Research, Inc.on March 4, 2021 at 1:19 am
The global pharmaceutical robots market size is expected to reach USD 297.4 million by 2028, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2021 ...
- Indoor Robots Market is Set to Experience a Revolutionary Growth | iRobot, Aethon, Ecovacs, Cobalt Roboticson March 2, 2021 at 12:19 pm
The research emphasizes elaboration of the Global Indoor Robots market strategy of the industry players in the precision of import/export consumption, supply and demand. The study starts with an ...
- Worldwide Laundry Folding Robots Industry to 2024 - Key Drivers, Challenges and Trendson March 2, 2021 at 2:57 am
The "Global Laundry Folding Robots Market 2020-2024" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The laundry folding robots market is poised to grow by $386.14 million during 2020-2024 ...
- Smart Robot Market Size, Status, Demand, Growth and Overview Outlook 2020 - 2025on March 2, 2021 at 1:52 am
The scope of the report includes a detailed study of Smart Speaker Market with the reasons given for variations in the ...
- Personalized Book Company LionStory Add New Title My Friend Robot To Their Collection of Storieson February 26, 2021 at 9:22 am
The story is about a child and a robot going on an adventure of fun and discovery. LionStory continues to add more stories to satisfy its customers LionStory is proud to announce their new book titled ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- In Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Klara and the Sun,’ a robot tries to make sense of humanityon March 6, 2021 at 11:33 am
One hundred years ago, a play titled “R.U.R.,” by Karel Čapek, debuted in Prague and gave us the word “robot.” Since then, androids have been dreaming of electric sheep, and we’ve been having ...
- Perseverance rover flexes its arm on Mars for the 1st timeon March 4, 2021 at 9:38 am
NASA's Perseverance rover has spent a busy two weeks settling into its new home on Mars, most recently flexing its robotic arm for the first time.
- The Household Companion of the Futureon March 2, 2021 at 10:34 pm
Neato intelligent robotic vacuums have been given top ratings from international testing organizations, CEO Thomas Nedder explains why.
- Kazuo Ishiguro’s Radiant Roboton March 2, 2021 at 2:52 pm
She’s also Ishiguro’s most luminous character, literally a creature of light, dependent on the Sun. Her very name means “brightness.” But mainly, Klara is incandescently good. She’s like the kind, ...
- Click News: Robo-cat companion breaks windon February 26, 2021 at 6:01 am
Oregon Boston Dynamics criticises an art installation that will allow people to control a version of the firm’s robot dog, Spot, fitted with a paintball gun Panasonic develops an interactive robo-cat ...
- Hi, Robot: Japan's Android Pets Ease Virus Isolationon February 25, 2021 at 8:04 pm
But the adorable android -- first released in 2016 and only available in Japan -- does not come cheap, with regular models priced between $820 and $2,250. Charlie and Robohon are part of a new wave of ...
- Will Robots Make Good Friends? Scientists Are Already Starting to Find Outon February 25, 2021 at 7:03 am
For some, relating to robots is just a natural extension of relating to other things in our world, like people, pets, and possessions.
- New Robots Emerge To Automate Every Stage Of Restaurant Operationson February 24, 2021 at 9:24 am
Restaurant innovation has reached a new level, as new robots are emerging to tackle a wider variety of tasks, from the supply chain all the way to table service.
- Did Panasonic Create a Farting Cat Robot?on February 23, 2021 at 11:31 am
Panasonic Japan is producing a limited number of companion robots called Nicobo. And yes, they fart. What's False Although the robot has a tail, it's a bit of a stretch to refer to it as a cat. In mid ...
- RoboSolucio LLC Partners with Computer Mainstream Corporation (CMC) to Offer AI Puppy Robot COVID Symptom Detectionon February 23, 2021 at 4:31 am
RoboSolucio, an innovator in artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for mobile robot companions, announced today that it has signed an agreement with Computer Mainstream Corporation (CMC), an ...