Assistive robots are becoming increasingly recognised for their potential as important tools in helping people improve their quality of life and live independently for longer. Currently research is looking into a range of different ways in which robots might be used, such as assisting older adults who have age-related disabilities and long-term conditions, and their carers, in daily tasks, to enable independent living and active ageing.
Assistive robots, working in conjunction with smart home sensors, can enable pro-active initiative to prompt and support a person wherever they are in their home.
Researchers at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) at the University of the West of England are leading the way in this field, working on key areas of research that are crucial to ensuring that service robots are useful and usable http://www.brl.ac.uk/research/researchthemes/assistedliving.aspx . The work in the BRL involves understanding how people and robots can interact intuitively, safely and effectively; designing and testing robots that will be acceptable and enjoyable to use, and ensuring that the technology is developed being mindful of ethical and cultural issues.
We take a person-centred approach in our research which includes understanding people’s context of use and perspectives on robotic assistive technology.
We strive to seek user input using a range of methods. It is important to us to consider all stakeholders’ perspectives as we develop our research. We have organised this workshop in the UK-RAS (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) Week where we are inviting people working in areas related to health and social-care including clinicians, carers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and care providers.
In this workshop we will share research on ongoing assistive robotics projects including live demonstrations of how a socially assistive robot could provide support. The workshop will be designed as an interactive session with opportunities to discuss and debate how these emerging technologies will shape, integrate with and impact the services you provide in the future.