MOBISERV - an integrated intelligent home environment for the provision of health, nutrition and mobility services to older adults
MOBISERV - An Integrated Intelligent Home Environment for the Provision of Health, Nutrition and Mobility Services to Older Adults Developing robots and smart devices to assist older people maintain active independent lives
MOBISERV (An Integrated Intelligent Home Environment for the Provision of Health, Nutrition and Mobility Services to Older Adults) is an EU Framework 7 funded project aimed at creating an intelligent system comprising a robot and smart sensors that can support independent living for older people. The project co-ordinator is Systema Technologies S.A., and the consortium has nine European partners from seven countries.
The project brings together a multi-disciplinary team in UWE with expertise in care for older people including Tina Fear and Simon Evans from the faculty of Health and Social Care, Sanja Dogramadzi and Daniel Raabe from Robotics, and Praminda Caleb-Solly from User Experience Design. The team will look at the needs of older people and the potential of technology to meet those needs, with companies such as Robosoft (France) Smartex (Italy), CSEM (Switzerland) and Smart Homes (Netherlands). The team will also include health care providers St Anna in the Netherlands and the universities of Thessaloniki and Lappeenranta.
The project aims to produce three key sub-systems for assisting older people. A wearable health status monitor which smart sensors woven into undergarments (Smartex and CSEM); a secure tele-alarm and health reporting system; and a nutrition support system (Thessaloniki), which will consist of reminders when meals and drinks are missed and encouragement when people experience loss of appetite. All these systems will be linked to a robotic platform incorporating speech-based interaction, which will also facilitate communication — providing people with an easy to use facility for keeping in touch with relatives, friends, medical personnel and carers.
UWE's role is to ensure that the technology being developed not only enhances the lives of older adults but also gives them the ability to make informed lifestyle choices. Our aim is to bring the lifestyle of older adults closer to the engineers and to bring the MOBISERV technology and solutions closer to the users.
Six user groups of older people — three in the UK and three in the Netherlands are taking part in the research. We are looking at older people living alone in their own home, people living in residential care homes and those who live at home and go to day care. We want to know what would be acceptable to them in a personal and social context, and make sure that the technology is easy and intuitive to use. We want to empower our participants by engaging them in an informed discussion about the scope and impact of this technology in their lives.
We have started to work with user groups initially to gain a deep understanding of their needs, problems and issues, their experience of technology, routines and the context of their lives. This has helped the team to compile a set of real scenarios of use, leading to design specifications for early prototypes that will subsequently be tested with user groups as part of field trials providing feedback for modifications. Several cycles of field testing and modification will be done to enable the technology to be closely aligned to user needs.
Dr Caleb-Solly who is leading the UWE team says, "This research will have long term benefits in supporting a growing elderly population. We need to look at these systems holistically in the context of real lives and ensure that the support they give to older people living independently matches their expectations and meets a real need. The ethical aspects of using robots with older people will also be considered as part of this research."
Dr Dogramadzi, co-investigator on the project, participates on the international Service Robotics Standards development committee and sees this project as an important case-study to inform the standards being developed as part of ISO/TC184/SC2.
Standards and discoveries from this research will be shared openly. The project website is available at www.mobiserv.eu
- Systema Technologies S.A. (Coordinator) - Greece
- Robosoft, Bidart — France
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Informatics, Artificial Intelligence and Information Analysis Laboratory, Thessaloniki — Greece
- Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique SA, Geneve — Switzerland
- Lappeenranta University of Technology — Finland
- Smart Homes — The Netherlands
- Smartex s.r.l. — Italy
- Stichting ST ANNA Zorggroep. — The Netherlands
Dr Praminda Caleb-Solly
Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies,
University of the West of England,
Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83178
Dr Sanja Dogramadzi e-mail: Sanja.Dogramadzi@brl.ac.uk
Mr Daniel Raabe e-mail: Daniel.Raabe@brl.ac.uk
Ms Sukhvinder Kaur e-mail: Sukhvinder.Kaur@brl.ac.uk