February 28, 2013
Revolutionary Robot Intended To Provide Elderly Care And Peace Of Mind
[ Watch the Video: Antonio develops P37 S65 Elderly Care Bot ]
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A University of Salford researcher has created an elderly care robot that shows a small resemblance to Rosie, the Jetsons' fictional household robot.
Antonio Espingardeiro, who is studying at Salford Business School and the School of Computing, Science & Engineering, created the P37 S65 robot to help remind elderly to take their medication and exercise, as well as tell jokes.
Not only is P37 S65 a bit of a jokester for the older adults, but it also can give loved ones peace of mind by providing 24-hour emergency notifications that go directly to carers or doctors through video conference or SMS.
Antonio says he believes his robot is able to provide intensive care required by care home residents and also can conduct routine tasks without significantly reducing the human contact people need.
Previous studies performed by Antonio show that his robot can improve quality of life for the elderly by promoting exercise, playing games and acting as a video link to family.
P37 S65 can be programmed to perform routine health interventions that are designed for people with dementia and can also remember the preferences and requirements of each patient.
Antonio performed fieldwork with existing commercially available robots and found that residents thought of them as highly stimulating and a break from their normal environment. He said he believes P37 S65 could advance this thinking while also helping to supplement the work by human professionals.
“Care of the elderly is a difficult issue, but as populations age, we´re facing a difficult choice,” he said. “Do we employ more people from a smaller workforce to care for us in our old age, or do we provide lower standards of care with fewer resources?”
“With my robot I believe that we can avoid this problem. I´ve already established that robots can provide meaningful interaction to supplement human contact, and from my work with care homes, I´ve seen first-hand how both staff and residents benefit from their presence.”
The field of robotics keeps advancing, and with the addition of both advanced engineering and algorithms, it is only a matter of time before we become more reliant on machines. MIT researchers will be presenting two papers at this year´s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, showing household robots could use algorithms to compensate for physical shortcomings.
Essentially, the MIT researchers created two algorithms: the first of which enables a robot to push an object across a table so it hangs off the edge; and the second of which helps to stabilize wobbly objects.