Tuesday July 16, 2019
Home Lead Story Now Comes an ...

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

0
//
Robots
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.

Also Read- Nokia Plans to Cut Jobs, Says Slow 5G Progress Not Cause For Layoffs

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)

Next Story

Researchers Develop an App which will Convert your Phone into Robot

The phone is both the eyes and brain for the robot, controlling its navigation and tasks

0
robot app
The app offers options for how those tasks can be performed, such as under a certain time limit, on repeat or after a machine has done its job. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a smartphone application that allows a user to easily programme any robot to perform a task, dramatically bringing down the costs of building and programming mobile robots.

The researchers demonstrated this app with robots watering a plant, vacuuming and transporting objects. A study on the embedded app, called VRa, was presented at DIS 2019 in San Diego.

“Smaller companies can’t afford software programmers or expensive mobile robots, we’ve made it to where they can do the programming themselves, dramatically bringing down the costs of building and programming mobile robots,” said the study’s lead author Karthik Ramani, a researcher of Indian origin from the Purdue University in the US.

phone robot, robot, robot app
The app provides an option to automatically record video when the phone is docked, so that the user can play it back and evaluate a workflow. Wikimedia Commons

Using Augmented Reality (AR), the app allows the user to either walk out where the robot should go to perform its tasks or draw out a workflow directly into real space. The app offers options for how those tasks can be performed, such as under a certain time limit, on repeat or after a machine has done its job.

After programming, the user drops the phone into a dock attached to the robot. While the phone needs to be familiar with the type of robot it’s ‘becoming’ to perform tasks, the dock can be wirelessly connected to the robot’s basic controls and motor, said the researchers.

The phone is both the eyes and brain for the robot, controlling its navigation and tasks. “As long as the phone is in the docking station, it is the robot, whatever you move about and do is what the robot will do,” he added.

robot app, phone robot, robot
Using Augmented Reality (AR), the app allows the user to either walk out where the robot should go to perform its tasks or draw out a workflow directly into real space. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: New Tool may Help Humans and Robots Work Together in Close Proximity

To get the robot to execute a task that involves wirelessly interacting with another object or machine, the user simply scans the QR code of that object or machine while programming, effectively creating a network of so-called Internet of Things. Once docked, the phone (as the robot) uses information from the QR code to work with the objects.

The app provides an option to automatically record video when the phone is docked, so that the user can play it back and evaluate a workflow. (IANS)