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Now Comes an Assistive Robot To Help Elderly Live Independently

The robot then used its mapping and navigation camera, sensors and software to find the person and offer assistance

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New assistive robot to help elderly live independently. Pixabay

Scientists have created a robot that could help elderly people with dementia and other limitations live independently in their own homes.

The Robot Activity Support System, or RAS, developed by the Washington State University (WSU), uses sensors embedded in a smart home to determine where its residents are, what they are doing and when they need assistance with daily activities.

It navigates through rooms and around obstacles to find people on its own, provides video instructions on how to do simple tasks and can even lead its owner to objects like their medication or a snack in the kitchen.

“RAS combines the convenience of a mobile robot with the activity detection technology of a WSU smart home to provide assistance in the moment, as the need for help is detected,” said Bryan Minor, postdoctoral student at the WSU.

With a number of adults over 85 needing assistance with every day activities such as preparing meals and taking medication, the researchers hope that technologies like RAS and the smart home will alleviate some of the financial strain on the healthcare system and make it easier for older adults to live alone.

Robot, Reading Companion
FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

“Upwards of 90 per cent of older adults prefer to age in place as opposed to moving into a nursing home,” said Diane Cook, Professor at the WSU.

“We want to make it so that instead of bringing in a caregiver or sending these people to a nursing home, we can use technology to help them live independently on their own,” Cook added.

In the study, detailed in the journal Cognitive Systems Research, the team recruited a small group of students to complete three activities — getting ready to walk the dog, taking medication with food and water and watering household plants — in a smart home with RAS as an assistant.

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When the smart home sensors detected a human failed to initiate or was struggling with one of the tasks, RAS received a message to help.

The robot then used its mapping and navigation camera, sensors and software to find the person and offer assistance. (IANS)

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This Novel Flying Robot can Clean Glass Curtain Walls in High-Rise Buildings

The new robot represents a major advance in safety and efficiency

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Robot, Glass, Curtain
mportantly, it has been designed so that the whole system's contact force can be controlled precisely without any force sensors, said the team from the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Pixabay

Chinese researchers have designed a novel flying robot that not only climbs wall like you have seen in sci-fi movies but is also capable of avoiding obstacles and even jumping over grooves on wall surfaces.

It can also conduct interactive operations while in flight to clean glass curtain walls in high-rise buildings.

Importantly, it has been designed so that the whole system’s contact force can be controlled precisely without any force sensors, said the team from the Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The new robot represents a major advance in safety and efficiency. It comprises a single-degree-of-freedom manipulator cube-frame end effector and a hex-rotor UAV system.

Robot, Glass, Curtain
It can also conduct interactive operations while in flight to clean glass curtain walls in high-rise buildings. Pixabay

“In the near future, we might see an extensive use of this new system in large infrastructure maintenance, and other special applications, such as scientific sampling.” said Meng Xiangdong, the robot’s designer.

The team reported the development of a contact aerial manipulator system that shows high flexibility and strong mission adaptability at the 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019) in Macao last week.

How to control the force is considered the most difficult problem, since flying robots usually are sensitive to external force.

According to Meng, realizing this objective required first making a flying robot with closed loop control behave like a regular spring system.

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The elastic coefficient could then be easily changed by altering the control parameters.

“It means that we can take the robot as a spring system so that the contact process can be safe enough,” said Meng. (IANS)