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European partnership funds research toward robot aides for the elderly
Date:9/13/2010

hnische Universitaet Muenchen, is to keep the user linked to his or her social network and in this way to improve quality of life by reducing loneliness and increasing cognitively stimulating activities. ALIAS facilitates social contacts by creating connections to people and events in the wider world. The plan is to develop, in three years, a mobile robot that interacts with elderly users, monitors their home environments, and provides cognitive assistance in daily life. The project is launched within the second call of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme under the coordination of Prof. Frank Wallhoff.

Existing concrete applications integrated into the mobile ALIAS robot will facilitate daily life of elderly users. Examples are: proactive communication initiation with speech recognition (user to the robot: "Call my daughter!"); Internet telephone services including video calls; Internet chat between elderly people including support for cross-lingual chat; online gaming with friends; "Agebook"; E-cards; reading aloud from newspapers and other sources, using speech synthesis; and assisted mobility. Later, options of remote health monitoring will be developed as well. Many applications will use new interfaces adapted for the elderly on touch-screen computers (with big and easy keyboards).

Groups of elderly users in Europe will be asked to give their opinions on the functionalities of the robot from the start of the project, to match their needs to the potential of the robot. This open innovation model at the core of the project, alongside with gender and ethical studies, will help to establish sound economics for such robots. A key target is to prepare such robots for AAL users in five years time.

The safety of the robot with elderly people is of paramount importance. This will be an overarching, guiding principle for the collaboration, which brings together European leaders in several different areas of competence: a robot manufac
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Contact: Klaus Becker
becker@zv.tum.de
49-892-892-2798
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert  

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