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Accompany Project

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Accompany Project

  1. 1. Prof. Dr. Kerstin Dautenhahn Adaptive Systems Research Group University of Hertfordshire PI for University of Hertfordshire Accompany project ©University of Hertfordshire ERF 13 March 2014
  2. 2. Context: Aging population •  According to Eurostat, the percentage of the European population aged 65 years and over will grow from 16% in 2010 up to 29,3% in 2060 (EUROSTAT, 2011). Demographic changes in Europe (source: Birks, 2007) # 2#
  3. 3. Def: A Companion is an agent that a) makes itself 'useful', i.e. is able to carry out a variety of tasks in order to assist humans b) behaves socially, i.e. possesses social skills in order to be able to interact with people in a socially acceptable manner. Note, a) and b) imply a long-term perspective: •  repeated interactions •  need for learning and adaptation •  potential for relationships, but does not assume that people “bond” with robots (friend vs. assistant/butler) Idea: Being useful & making a positive contribution to people’s quality of life The Robot as a Companion Paradigm
  4. 4. Project: ACCOMPANY •  Acceptable robotiCs COMPanions for AgeiNg Years •  The Accompany project addresses target outcome (a) service and social robotics systems for “Ageing well” under objective ICT-2011.5.4 ICT for Ageing and Wellbeing under EU FP7. •  A major challenge concerning the development of service robots for the elderly is to enhance existing state of the art technologies and interfaces in order to facilitate independent living at home. •  Focus on re-ablement •  User-centred approach •  Start 1 October 2011 •  3.6 M Euros EC contribution •  Coordinated by University of Hertfordshire •  (Farshid Amirabdollahian) •  9 partners in 5 EU countries
  5. 5. Consortium •  The University of Hertfordshire (UH), United Kingdom •  Hogeschool Zuyd (HZ), The Netherlands •  Fraunhofer (Fraunhofer), Germany •  University of Amsterdam (UVA), University of Twente (UT), The Netherlands •  University of Siena (UNISI), Italy •  Maintien en Autonomie à Domicile des Personnes Agées (MADOPA), France •  University of Birmingham (UB), University of Warwick (UW), United Kingdom 5#
  6. 6. Involving users •  6 rounds of user panels throughout the project •  Evaluation in formative and summative studies: –  Primary users (elderly) –  Secondary users (informal carers) –  Health care providers and local authorities (formal carers) 6#
  7. 7. Focus on existing platform Care-O-Bot 3 - redesigned http://www.care-o-bot.de/english/Care-O-bot_3.php#
  8. 8. ACCOMPANY Objectives & Results I •  Social and empathic interaction design – Novel interfaces and interaction modalities •  Robot learning and adaptability – Cognitive architecture for robot integrated in smart home, human-robot co-learning and teaching •  Environment and activity monitoring – Tracking and activity recognition (data set) 8#
  9. 9. ACCOMPANY Objectives & Results II •  Acceptability of robots for promoting independence – Studies in summative evaluation with users in three countries •  Ethical issues surrounding companion robots – New frameworks for ethical guidelines for robot technology and elderly people 9#
  10. 10. Some lessons learnt/challenges •  Activity recognition for multiple persons in realistic home setting •  Safe and socially interactive platform •  Combining learning & personalization/ human-user teaching •  Easy to understand interfaces for users
  11. 11. Thank You

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