Robotic Companions for Carehomes
With funding from Provide (https://www.provide.org.uk/), we are working on cognitive architecture for robotic companions to provide physical and social assitance in carehomes, hospitals and other natural living spaces. The research builds up and connects all the work on action, robot episodic memory, causal and social relations learning, navigation done in the past several years-, with carehomes being the real world testing ground!
The rapidly increasing percentage of ageing population and large number of individuals with long-term conditions like such as stroke, heart disease, Mild Cognitive Impairments (dementia) is presently putting severe pressure on the health care system, care givers and family of affected individuals. As an end-user centric and innovation driven project, the motivation is to extend the state of the art in ‘perception-action, social interaction and cognitive’ capabilities of the robots to facilitate a) physical assistance; b) social assistance and companionship; c) monitoring and alerting; d) simplification of care home logistics; e) health and wellness promotion, with experiments conducted at hospitals and carehome. The present pandemic situation is also serving as a catalyst, making us realize a number of areas where a robotic assitance can be useful and infact life saving!
We are working on a number of topics, mainly
1. Human aware motion planning and spatial awareness for Robotic companions
2. Lifelong learning and Episodic memory- to learn, remember and anticipate a range of social and causal relations in the worls
3. Multimodal and natural intercation- combining speech, gestures and tablet interface
4. Social Cogntion- Perceiving others actions, goals to provide context specific assitance
5. Customization N=1- Learning mechanisms to enabel the robot comapnion to adapt to the needs of every user.
(This page is still being updated-as and when I have time!)- The video below summarizes some of the work!