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San Sebastián de los Reyes, Spain

Pigini L.,Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS | Facal D.,Fundacion Instituto Gerontologico Matia INGEMA | Blasi L.,Hewlett - Packard | Andrich R.,Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS
Technology and Disability | Year: 2012

Background: Service robots may offer an innovative assistive solution to improve the quality of life of frail elderly people, by assisting them in specific situations identified as relevant to maintain independence. Objective: This paper describes the results of a qualitative and quantitative research based on a user-centered methodology carried out within the EU-funded project Multi-Role Shadow Robotic System for Independent Living (SRS), aiming to generate user requirements and realistic usage scenarios maximizing the alignment with users' needs, perceptions, feelings and rights. Methods: A qualitative and quantitative research-based on focus groups (59 participants) and questionnaires (129 respondents)-was carried out in three countries: Italy, Spain and Germany. The survey involved prospective end-users (elderly people and family members who care for them), caregivers, and geriatric experts. Results: Results show that despite elderly people encounter difficulties in many activities of daily life, a semi-autonomous remotely-controlled and self-learning service robot has been judged an interesting solution only in some circumstances. Monitoring and managing emergency situations, helping with reaching, fetching and carrying objects that are too heavy or positioned in unreachable places: these are tasks for which robotic support has been widely accepted, while tasks involving direct physical contact between the person and the robot are not appreciated instead. Relatives of the elderly could act as remote operators; however, family psychological burden and time restrictions should be considered too. Conclusions: A tele-operated robotic system may be of help for frail elderly people. In certain cases this solution may be effective only in conjunction with a 24-hour professional Service Centre able to manage tele-operation when relatives are not available. This survey adds further tokens of knowledge to previous literature studies on this subject; it compares the potential users' and the professionals' views; it helps identifying potentially successful applications of tele-operated robots in the care of elderly people living at home. The results obtained by the present study, generated specific requirements and the first versions of concrete usage scenarios, enabling designers and technologists to start with a first development phase of the SRS concept. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGIONS-2008-2-02 | Award Amount: 246.53K | Year: 2009

European aging population has placed new demands on family units and raises pressing questions about the efficiency and management of care and support technologies and services for dependent people. Assistive technologies will play a key role in social inclusion, independency and autonomy of elderly people and disabled people, transforming the research activities in assistive technologies in the real solution to everyday life people in real conditions. General objective: to set the basis for the creation a new research driven cluster on assistive technologies (AT) in San Sebastin to improve the coordination of the local stakeholders working in the field and maximise the efforts and existing infrastructures for improving socioeconomic development and strengthen the RTD and innovation capacity of the city, and also acting as facilitator and catalyst at regional level. The project is structured in 9 workpackages. The mentoring of EU experts in AT along all the project duration has been envisaged in WP1, for ensuring that key documents developed in the project are relevant and consistent. Additionally, WP2 and WP3 will consider the framework in which assistive technology sector has developed for having an overall vision on the initiatives boosted from the public administrations and the evolution of AT technology market. Furthermore, the local economic and RTD potentiality of San Sebastin will be analysed in WP4. The focus of WP5 will be to mobilise the local stakeholders in order to extract jointly agreed, contrasted and validated the Cluster Research Agenda and Implementation Plan that will elaborated in parallel respectively in WP6 and WP7. Finally, WP8 will focus on the dissemination of the results achieved in the project and WP8 will ensure the correct management of the project and the monitoring of the progress. The main expected result of the project will be the Implementation Plan that will be the roadmap for the final creation of the AT cluster.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.7.1 | Award Amount: 10.72M | Year: 2008

CompanionAble adresses the issues of social inclusion and homecare of persons suffering from chronic cognitive disabilities prevalent among the elderly, a rapidly increasing population group. Those people need support of carers and are at risk of social exclusion, yet this problem not well addressed by ICT technology, but would lead to a social and economical pressure for staying at home as long as possible.\n\nThe main unique selling point of the CompanionAble project lies in the synergetic combination of the strengths of a mobile robotic companion with the advantages of a stationary smart home, since neither of those approaches alone can accomplish the demanding tasks to be solved. Positive effects of both individual solutions shall be combined to demonstrate how the synergies between a stationary smart home solution and an embodied mobile robot companion can make the care and the care persons interaction with her assistive system significantly better. \n\nStarting with a profound requirements engineering for ICT-supported care and therapy management for the care persons, basic technologies for multimodal user observation and human-machine interaction will provide the fundamentals for the development of a stationary smart home assistive system and a mobile robot assistant, building the cornerstones of the overall system integrating the promising solutions of both parts. Substantial support comes from the research activities focusing on an architectural framework, allowing such a complex care scenario solution be achievable. After the realization of the respective scenarios, long lasting field experiments will be carried out to evaluate and test the system, and both scenarios can be evaluated to show their strength and weaknesses. This will initiate the development of an overall, integrated care scenario (smart home with embedded robot companion). \nThe realization of this integrated care concept is to be seen as the in-principal vision of CompanionAble.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.7.1 | Award Amount: 4.19M | Year: 2008

HERMES provides an innovative integrated approach to cognitive care covering the domain of cognitive support and training. This is achieved through an advanced, integrated, assistive technology that combines the functional skills of the older person to reduce age-related decline of cognitive capabilities and assist the user where necessary. Based on intelligent audio and visual processing and reasoning, the project results in a combination of a home-based and mobile device to support the users cognitive state and prevent cognitive decline. HERMES assesses the following five core objectives associated with the five main areas of cognitive support, care and well being: OBJ 1. Advanced activity reminding to assist the user in performing everyday tasks and to support independent living. Modelled after human associative memory, activities are automatically deduced from the captured information using advanced speech recognition and processing algorithms. OBJ 2. Facilitation of episodic memory through the capture of content in audio and image including when, where, who, and what of a moment, including additional contextual information. OBJ 3. Cognitive training through games with important moments. OBJ 4. Conversation support on the grounds of interactive reminiscence based on the recordings of important moments. OBJ 5. Mobility support to address the needs of the user outside of the house with cognitive support when and where needed. HERMES aims specifically at supporting the decline in (declarative and prospective memory) capabilities by using other functional cognitive skills and training these, thereby reducing the need for active care and support and substantially increasing the ability to cope with everyday life and to live independently.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: PHC-20-2014 | Award Amount: 3.79M | Year: 2015

The number of elderly living with cognitive impairment is growing rapidly due to increasing life expectancy. The percentage of those who live alone depends upon the condition (i.e. roughly 30% of those diagnosed with dementia) but the majority would like to live in their own home or with family, provided that it is safe, comfortable, and cost effective. IN LIFE aims to prolong and support independent living for elderly with cognitive impairments, through interoperable, open, personalised and seamless ICT services that support home activities, communication, health maintenance, travel, mobility and socialization, with novel, scalable and viable business models, based on feedback from large-scale, multi-country pilots. Building on existing knowledge and tested AAL technology/services IN LIFE will offer 19 different services, which will be further optimised and adapted to the particular needs and wants of various elderly groups, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), early dementia and cognitive impairment with co morbid conditions, plus formal and informal caregivers. These interoperable services will be integrated into an open, cloud- based, reference architecture to be tested in 6 Europe-wide pilots in Greece, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and UK, with over 1200 elderly with cognitive impairments, 600 formal and informal caregivers, and 60 other stakeholders. Attention will be paid to issues concerning multilingual and multicultural environments. The project will establish and extensively test new business models for a new taxonomy of elderly with cognitive impairments, encompassing those that are clustered as dependent, at risk, assisted or active and formulating and accessing new business scenarios, such as the user-centric, service provider-centric and data exploitation-centric ones. This work will be carried out in 36 months by 20 partners from 9 European countries, totaling 591PMs with a total requested financing of 3.38M euros.

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