Invited Speakers

1 November, Half day Workshop at ICSR 2016, Kansas City ( USA)

  • Dimitrios Tzovaras, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas – Information Technologies Institute (CERTH-ITI), Greece

Vision-based perception and user-centric cognition methods for service robots to support MCI patients at home; the RAMCIP project approach

The EU-funded (Horizon 2020) project RAMCIP ( develops a novel service robot to support MCI patients at home. Following a brief overview of the project, this speech will present RAMCIP advances in methods of robotic vision-based perception and user-centric cognition. Perception methods focus herein on the robust recognition and pose estimation of household objects and appliances (from small, graspable objects, through to large articulated ones), as well as on the hierarchical semantic mapping of the overall domestic environment. Moreover, following the tracking of human activity, the robot’s user-centric cognition methods focus on one hand on the human-aware, safe and socially acceptable robot navigation, and on the other, on autonomous decision making over when and how the robot should engage in an assistance provision intervention.

  • Jenay Beer, University of South Carolina, USA

From “A Robot Might be a Good Idea” to “I Use my Robot Every Day”: Understanding Robot Acceptance and Adoption by Older Users

The population of older adults worldwide is expected to reach an unprecedented level in the near future. Some older adults experience difficulties with performing activities of daily living, and caregivers may not be able to meet the required level of assistance. Assistive robots have the potential to aid older adults with daily tasks, allowing them to live independently and age-in-place. However, it is imperative to first understand what encourages an older adult to accept, adopt, and actually use a robot in their home on a daily basis. This talk will cover many aspects of robot acceptance, including theoretical underpinnings, older adult preferences for assistance, and future research directions.

  • Selma Sabanovic, Indiana University, USA

Collaborative design and implementation of robots with older adults and clinicians

Socially assistive robots (SARs) are expected to be particularly useful for assisting with the management and care of aging populations in developing countries, but recent polls such as Pew in the US and Eurobarometer in the EU have shown that the public is not very supportive of using robots for healthcare, particularly with the elderly. Our studies of SARs in eldercare institutions and user homes suggest that negative attitudes towards SARs are connected to stereotypes of aging as a disability found within many SARs designs, and to the suggestion that SARs can provide “technological fixes” for aging without taking into account the political, economic, and cultural contexts of older adults and their care givers. In an attempt to address these problems in the course of SARs design, we have been working on a participatory design project seeking to conceptualize and implement SARs collaboratively with older adults and clinicians in nursing institutions and user homes. We will discuss the approaches we used to achieve active participation of older adults as designers of robotic technology, as well as the initial design insights from our collaborative design project to develop SARs in-home use by older adults with depression.

  • Laurel Riek, University of California San Diego, USA

Healthcare robotics across the care continuum: Sensing, Adapting, and Learning

In healthcare, robots have a tremendous potential to make an impact on people’s daily lives. An estimated 20% of the world’s population have disabilities, and of these individuals, 190 million experience severe disabilities with daily living tasks (e.g., ADLs). The world also has a rapidly aging population, and this number is only expected to
grow. However, few people wish to live in managed care facilities, and instead would
prefer to live in their homes, independently, for as long as possible. Unfortunately,
worldwide healthcare labor shortages and increasing costs are unable to meet the
demand. In the future, robots may help fill this care gap by providing both physical and
cognitive task support to care receivers, clinicians, and care givers, across both long
term and short term care settings. However, to realize this vision, a number of key
technical, scientific, and logistical challenges must be surmounted to build effective
robots which can be widely deployed. This talk will discuss work my group has been
doing to address this issue on several fronts, including: building robots that can sense,
adapt to, and learn from people in real-world settings, creating new robots for
longitudinal neurorehabilitation, and designing safety critical health technology to save
lives in emergency medicine.

  • Miguel A. Salichs, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

Cognitive stimulation with social robots

The current ageing of society, caused by the increase in life expectancy and the lower birth rates, has made the assistance to elderly people an important issue. Many countries have initiated research programs that try to palliate this problem using assistive robots. The Robotics Lab of the UC3M is researching on the possibilities that social assistive robotics provides in order to help elders in their daily life, especially elders with cognitive impairment. This help is focused on matters related with human-robot interaction (HRI), such as entertainment, cognitive stimulation, etc. This interaction implies a great challenge because of two main reasons: the type of users and the interaction environment. The research includes from the design and construction of the robots to testing them with elders in real environments. This speech presents the robot Mini and some preliminary results obtained with this robot in psycho-stimulation applications.