Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark and Odense Municipality tests whether robots can make older people more independent and thus help them to remain in their own homes.
A helping hand, an iron-arm and an intelligent walker. Specifically, three robotic prototypes are being tested. A robot has been developed as a ‘helping hand’, which supports and relieves balance problems for the elderly. The iron-arm is a robotic technology device that supports everyday movements. The intelligent walker is designed to support the elderly to move around the home.
– The test will help assess whether or not the robots are functioning as intended, explains Caroline Strudwick, innovation consultant at Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark.
Twelve test persons are testing the prototypes in a full-scale test apartment
Odense Municipality has recruited twelve test persons, four to each prototype. The test-persons are selected partly on whether they have the proper physical difficulties in relation to the robot prototypes, partly by interest, desire and the ability to communicate their experiences as a tester.
The test-persons will test the prototypes in alongside a lifting and moving expert and a healthcare worker from the Odense Municipality elderly care department as well as an engineering and design-manager from Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark. They will evaluate the prototypes function and see if the work as intended and whether they have the potential to help the elderly in their everyday life. . Based on their experiences with the prototypes, they provide feedback to the prototype manufactures’.
The test is part of the EU project SILVER (Supporting Independent Living for the Elderly through Robotics). The aim is to clarify whether the robots have the potential to help elderly people, to stay as long as possible in their own homes. The test takes place in the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark placed in Science Park Odense.