Read about all current projects in the area of robotics for independent living. Some highlights:
The Companionable consortium developed Hector, a breakthrough robot, with FP7 funding. It was tested in smart homes in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. Real ageing people lived with the robot for two days. Hector can scan the environment and the patient’s body to determine if the person has fallen or has high blood pressure. It can provide entertainment, and memory and cognitive training, or reminders for day-to-day tasks (like taking medicine) and can also offer communication lines with relatives and doctors. The results show that Hector really helps patients in the early stages of their condition such as Alzheimer’s disease and delay its evolution. Learn more about Companionable.
Kompaï is the fruit of the MOBISERV project that explores how machines can help the elderly and disabled. The result is a blend of watchdog, care assistant, and everyday computer. Because, as Vincent Dupourqué, president of Robosoft, the company behind the venture says: “A robot is one of the best answers, the best technological answer to help people who are housebound.” One of Robosoft’s robotics engineers, Arnaud Lago, provides more details: Kompaï is a mobile robot that can move around an apartment. It has a laser and distance sensors for navigation and security. It contains a tablet PC with a touch screen so it can interact with its user. It also has ears, two directional microphones, so you can speak to it, and eyes, a camera, to allow the person to speak to others.” Kompaï should be able to go where you tell him, help with the shopping list and even play games.
Robotics can help tackle the ageing challenge. The projects above show it. But new groundbreaking innovative initiatives are still needed. SILVER (funded by FP7) is not your traditional research project, but a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) scheme to stimulate radical innovation and “out of the box” thinking. Via pre-commercial procurement (PCP) Silver wants to obtain prototype robotic solutions for independent living. Silver is an open competition on innovative robotics technology for ageing well. 'Open' in this case means: no specifications of desired output or outcome, just a focus on the ageing-challenges at hand. Silver aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of the PCP-approach to meet societal needs, for wider adoption by governments. The international PCP opened on 1st March 2013, with 5 June 2013 as closing date .