Prototype of a robotic system with emotion and memory developed by university researchers

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire have developed a prototype of a social robot which supports independent living for the elderly, working in partnership with their relatives or carers. The robot uses a state of the art service platform called Care-O-bot 3 and works within a smart-home environment.

Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, a senior lecturer in Adaptive Systems at the University, led a team of nine partner institutions from across five European countries as part of the €4,825,492 project called ACCOMPANY (Acceptable Robotics Companions for Ageing Years).


Over the past three years the project team successfully carried out a wide range of studies in the University's Robot House which included, detecting the activity and status of people in a smart-home environment as well as focusing on robots' ability to remember and recall.

Developments culminated into three interaction scenarios, which were subsequently evaluated by involving elderly people and their formal/informal carers across France, the Netherlands and the UK.

ACCOMPANY's results demonstrated that a social robot can potentially help to prevent isolation and loneliness, offering stimulating activities whilst respecting autonomy and independence. The project received "excellent results" from its final review in Brussels.

Dr Amirabdollahian said: "This project proved the feasibility of having companion technology, while also highlighting different important aspects such as empathy, emotion, social intelligence as well as ethics and its norm surrounding technology for independent living"

See the robot in action on YouTube and visit the project's website to find out more - http://accompanyproject.eu/.

Featured Product

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

ST Robotics Develops the Workspace Sentry for Collaborative Robotics

The ST Robotics Workspace Sentry robot and area safety system are based on a small module that sends an infrared beam across the workspace. If the user puts his hand (or any other object) in the workspace, the robot stops using programmable emergency deceleration. Each module has three beams at different angles and the distance a beam reaches is adjustable. Two or more modules can be daisy chained to watch a wider area. "A robot that is tuned to stop on impact may not be safe. Robots where the trip torque can be set at low thresholds are too slow for any practical industrial application. The best system is where the work area has proximity detectors so the robot stops before impact and that is the approach ST Robotics has taken," states President and CEO of ST Robotics David Sands.