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Sensor-Based, Robotic System Aims to Increase Older Adult Independence

A new EU research project aims to test how a network of sensors, working in cooperation with a robot, can assist older adults in living safer, more independent lives. The GIRAFF+ is a telepresence robot engineered to move around an individual’s home and allow them to interact with family, friends, and healthcare professionals through videoconference. According to a news release from the European Commission Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), the GIRAFF+ system features sensors throughout the home and in wearable devices. These sensors are built to detect activities such as cooking, sleeping, or watching television.

Watch a video of the system

The sensors are also intended to provide medical information, such as blood pressure and body temperature, allowing caregivers to remotely monitor older adults and check for falls.

Amy Loutfi, project coordinator, adds that the system will be installed into 15 homes by the end of 2014.

“So far we have had six homes in Europe—two homes each in Spain, Sweden, and Italy—where people lived with the GIRAFF+ system. We are currently in the middle of the evaluations, but we see that various aspects of the system are appreciated differently by different users. This goes to show there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to technology at home, and that the latter should be both adaptable and tailored to the user’s needs,” Loutfi says.

The release reports that current plans center on putting the system in commercial production next year, based on an upfront fee and monthly subscriptions.

Photo Credit: EU

[Source: CORDIS]