The number of elderly people living at home is increasing and this trend is expected to continue. The challenge then would be how to provide technology that can handle the complex and different environments found in homes. Further, technology can easily be seen as a threat to privacy and lack of interpersonal contact. This proposal addresses these issues by user centered design of systems and the development of adaptive technology. We will further in this project demonstrate the benefits regarding both performance and privacy being improved by applying sensors like cameras on a robot companion rather than having them permanently mounted in a home. These would be used for detecting falls and other non-normal situations. Using new sensor technology, we would also like to explore if it is possible to remotely monitor medical states like pulse, breathing etc. Rather than having elderly themselves activating their personal security alarm in the case of an emergency situation, a target of this project is to make this automatic and not dependent on the person carrying an alarm device. Many systems for elderly have been designed but few have been applied. We think a key reason for this is limited user involvement and few iterations of user testing. Therefore, we will focus specifically on developing our systems with a large degree of user participation. In conclusion, we will in this project like to implement and evaluate robotic elderly care systems with multimodal sensors that are able to sense, learn and predict future events. That is, by using complementary sensor technology and machine learning analysis and modeling techniques, we will target the development of novel monitoring systems to be applied in home care applications. Further, we will improve their usability through participatory design, involving users in actual use contexts.
Project leader: Jim Tørresen
Institution: Institutt for informatikk