The robots of CARESSES (short for Culture-Aware Robots and Environmental Sensor Systems for Elderly Support) will help the users in many ways including reminding them to take their medication, encouraging them to keep active, helping them keep in touch with family and friends. Each action will be performed with attention to the older person’s customs, cultural practices and individual preferences.
The project is funded by the European Union and by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. The project started on the 1st of January 2017.
As ageing populations across the world are placing health and social care systems under pressure, culturally competent robots can assist human caregivers in some tasks, thus helping to reduce the pressure in hospitals and care homes and improve care delivery at home.
To achieve this vision, the robots must be accepted by older people and their caregivers. The project experts believe that developing robots that are aware of the culture of the person they interact with and model their behaviour accordingly, will make them more acceptable to older people.