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Progress in developing a socially assistive mobile home robot companion for the elderly with mild cognitive impairment

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9 Author(s)
Gross, H. ; Neuroinf. & Cognitive Robot. Lab., Ilmenau Univ. of Technol., Ilmenau, Germany ; Schroeter, C. ; Mueller, S. ; Volkhardt, M.
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The paper is addressing several aspects of our work as part of the European FP7 project ??CompanionAble?? and gives an overview of the progress in developing a socially assistive home robot companion for elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) living alone at home. The spectrum of required assistive functionalities and services that have been specified by the different end-user target groups of such a robot companion (the elderly, relatives, caregivers) is manifold. It reaches from situation-specific, intelligent reminding (e.g. taking medication or drinking) and cognitive stimulation, via mobile videophony with relatives or caregivers, up to the autonomous detection of dangerous situations, like falls, and their evaluation by authorized persons via mobile telepresence. From the beginning, our approach has been focused on long-term and everyday suitability and low-cost producibility as important prerequisites for the marketability of the robot companion. Against this background, the paper presents the main system requirements derived from user studies, the consequences for the hardware design and functionality of the robot companion, its system architecture, a key technology for HRI in home environments - the autonomous user tracking and searching, up to the results of already conducted and ongoing functionality tests and upcoming user studies.

Published in:

Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-30 Sept. 2011