The robot fetches water, picks up laundry and follows the elderly to lunch. At the same time the robot can interpret emotions like fatigue. Scientists from SDU are developing this robot in collaboration with the municipality of Køge and Patient@home, which will be ready to use in nursing homes in 2 years.
”We are collaboration with the municipality of Køge and the plan is to test the robot in a nursing home in the fall 2018. It is important for the scientist’s work to be able to develop the robot in collaboration with the elderly and the nursing staff. The interaction can help them teach the robot to act in a way that will make it acceptable to the elderly and the staff to take in and use in their everyday routines”, says Professor Norbert Krüger from SDU Robotics.
SDU Robotics is lead for the project called SMOOTH and has just received just under 11 million DKK from Innovation Fund Denmark. In collaboration with, amongst others, the Danish Technological Institute and (companies) Robotize and Dictus, the scientists are going to develop the advanced service robot.
The biggest challenge is to make a model for how humans acts and reacts and then implement it into the robot, which will allow it to be a respectful part of the overall care, Norbert Krüger says.
The change in the demographic in Denmark and so many other countries is a daunting challenge. A challenge for the economy of the municipalities; but a challenge that might be eased by implementing service robots like this.
”The municipalities need help now. We need to develop the service robots as to only master the skills that are realistic within a short time frame”, Norbert Krüger points out.
For this very reason, the robot will, at first, not be given arms, because this will make it much more complicated to develop. For now, the elderly will have to take their water glass from a tray installed on the robot’s head themselves.
Read the full article from Innovation Fund Denmark here (In Danish).