ACCOMPANY, a European project:
A robotic system providing assistance to elderly users at home
Partners in the project
Funded by the European Commission, this research project (FP7-ICT-2011-7) is run by a European consortium comprising the University of Hertfordshire (GB), the University of Zuyd (Netherlands), the IPA (a German research institute), the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), the University of Siena (Italy), the University of Birmingham (GB) and MADoPA, (Centre expert en technologies et services pour le Maintien en Autonomie à Domicile des Personnes Âgéees).
The ACCOMPANY project
The ACCOMPANY (Acceptable robotiCs COMPanions for AgeiNg Years) system is a new technology-based solution for elderly people who wish to continue living independently at home. The ACCOMPANY system is based on a service robot, the Care-O-Bot ®, which is capable of interacting with elderly people in a smart home environment, i.e. a house or flat fitted with sensors transmitting information to the robot.
The purpose of the Care-O-Bot ® is to provide physical, cognitive and social assistance in the everyday tasks that elderly people living at home need to accomplish. However, it should be emphasised firstly that the role of the Care-O-Bot® is not to do things instead of the elderly user, but rather to help them do things by themselves, and secondly that it must deliver those services in a way that is motivating, empathetic and socially acceptable to the elderly user.
The robot is being tested in three European countries, the UK, Netherlands and France.
MADoPA is involved in this project at two different and complementary levels:
- Analysis of requirements through the setting up of focus groups bringing together elderly people, informal carers and professional home care and service workers, and the organisation of regular meetings.
- Evaluation of the Care-O-Bot ®. At this level, MADoPA is responsible for developing the evaluation protocol used to assess and evaluate the tests, and for conducting the evaluation of the robot with the elderly users who will be testing it in France from the end of 2013 onwards.
A very substantial part of the work is also focused on the ethical issues and considerations that are shaping the ongoing development of this research project.
For further information, please go to: http://accompanyproject.eu/