Assistive Robotics
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2021 ◽  
Vol 67 ◽  
pp. 101726
Júlia Pareto Boada ◽  
Begoña Román Maestre ◽  
Carme Torras Genís

Alejandro Suarez-Hernandez ◽  
Antonio Andriella ◽  
Aleksandar Taranovic ◽  
Javier Segovia-Aguas ◽  
Carme Torras ◽  

Gauri Tulsulkar ◽  
Nidhi Mishra ◽  
Nadia Magnenat Thalmann ◽  
Hwee Er Lim ◽  
Mei Ping Lee ◽  

AbstractSocial Assistive Robotics is increasingly being used in care settings to provide psychosocial support and interventions for the elderly with cognitive impairments. Most of these social robots have provided timely stimuli to the elderly at home and in care centres, including keeping them active and boosting their mood. However, previous investigations have registered shortcomings in these robots, particularly in their ability to satisfy an essential human need: the need for companionship. Reports show that the elderly tend to lose interests in these social robots after the initial excitement as the novelty wears out and the monotonous familiarity becomes all too familiar. This paper presents our research facilitating conversations between a social humanoid robot, Nadine, and cognitively impaired elderly at a nursing home. We analysed the effectiveness of human–humanoid interactions between our robot and 14 elderly over 29 sessions. We used both objective tools (based on computer vision methods) and subjective tools (based on observational scales) to evaluate the recorded videos. Our findings showed that our subjects engaged positively with Nadine, suggesting that their interaction with the robot could improve their well-being by compensating for some of their emotional, cognitive, and psychosocial deficiencies. We detected emotions associated with cognitively impaired elderly during these interactions. This study could help understand the expectations of the elderly and the current limitations of Social Assistive Robots. Our research is aligned with all the ethical recommendations by the NTU Institutional Review Board.

2021 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Marco C. Bettoni ◽  
Claudio Castellini

Despite decades of research, muscle-based control of assistive devices (myocontrol) is still unreliable; for instance upper-limb prostheses, each year more and more dexterous and human-like, still provide hardly enough functionality to justify their cost and the effort required to use them. In order to try and close this gap, we propose to shift the goal of myocontrol from guessing intended movements to creating new circular reactions in the constructivist sense defined by Piaget. To this aim, the myocontrol system must be able to acquire new knowledge and forget past one, and knowledge acquisition/forgetting must happen on demand, requested either by the user or by the system itself. We propose a unifying framework based upon Radical Constructivism for the design of such a myocontrol system, including its user interface and user-device interaction strategy.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (6) ◽  
pp. 738
Denniss Raigoso ◽  
Nathalia Céspedes ◽  
Carlos A. Cifuentes ◽  
Antonio J. del-Ama ◽  
Marcela Múnera

A growing interest in Socially Assistive Robotics in Physical Rehabilitation is currently observed; some of the benefits highlight the capability of a social robot to support and assist rehabilitation procedures. This paper presents a perception study that aimed to evaluate clinicians’ and patients’ perception of a social robot that will be integrated as part of Lokomat therapy. A total of 88 participants were surveyed, employing an online questionnaire based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). The participants belong to two health care institutions located in different countries (Colombia and Spain). The results showed an overall positive perception of the social robot (>60% of participants have a positive acceptance). Furthermore, a difference depending on the nature of the user (clinician vs. patient) was found.

Sensors ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (9) ◽  
pp. 3111
Gabriel Aguiar Noury ◽  
Andreas Walmsley ◽  
Ray B. Jones ◽  
Swen E. Gaudl

Demographic changes are putting the healthcare industry under pressure. However, while other industries have been able to automate their operation through robotic and autonomous systems, the healthcare sector is still reluctant to change. What makes robotic innovation in healthcare so difficult? Despite offering more efficient, and consumer-friendly care, the assistive robotics market has lacked penetration. To answer this question, we have broken down the development process, taking a market transformation perspective. By interviewing assistive robotics companies at different business stages from France and the UK, this paper identifies new insight into the main barriers of the assistive robotics market that are inhibiting the sector. Their impact is analysed during the different stages of the development, exploring how these barriers affect the planning, conceptualisation and adoption of these solutions. This research presents a foundation for understanding innovation barriers that high-tech ventures face in the healthcare industry, and the need for public policy measures to support these technology-based firms.

2021 ◽  
Vol 3 (1) ◽  
pp. 67-71
Wei Shi ◽  
Xuejun (Jason) Liu ◽  
Yuan Xing

With the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the past two decades have seen a proliferation of Assistive Technology (AT) and its enabling impact on the lives of people with disabilities in the areas of accessing information, communication, and daily living activities. Due to recent emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the research of assistive robotics has been contributing to assisting humans to manipulate and communicate with the robot in complex unstructured environments. The ongoing revolution of Internet of Things (IoT), together with the growing diffusion of robots applied in everyday life and industry, makes Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT) as the future direction for assistive robotics research. New advanced technologies and services are explored in assisting humans. This study provides an overview of the IoT and applications into robotics based on the building blocks of the IoT, along with recent trends and issues relevant to accessing technology for people with disabilities. This research also discusses the technologies in IoT that would benefit the applications of assistive robotics. The most important research challenges to be faced are also highlighted.

Informatics ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (2) ◽  
pp. 23
Alessandra Sorrentino ◽  
Gianmaria Mancioppi ◽  
Luigi Coviello ◽  
Filippo Cavallo ◽  
Laura Fiorini

This study aims to investigate the role of several aspects that may influence human–robot interaction in assistive scenarios. Among all, we focused on semi-permanent qualities (i.e., personality and cognitive state) and temporal traits (i.e., emotion and engagement) of the user profile. To this end, we organized an experimental session with 11 elderly users who performed a cognitive assessment with the non-humanoid ASTRO robot. ASTRO robot administered the Mini Mental State Examination test in Wizard of Oz setup. Temporal and long-term qualities of each user profile were assessed by self-report questionnaires and by behavioral features extrapolated by the recorded videos. Results highlighted that the quality of the interaction did not depend on the cognitive state of the participants. On the contrary, the cognitive assessment with the robot significantly reduced the anxiety of the users, by enhancing the trust in the robotic entity. It suggests that the personality and the affect traits of the interacting user have a fundamental influence on the quality of the interaction, also in the socially assistive context.

Sensors ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (6) ◽  
pp. 2051
Mihai Nan ◽  
Mihai Trăscău ◽  
Adina Magda Florea ◽  
Cezar Cătălin Iacob

Action recognition plays an important role in various applications such as video monitoring, automatic video indexing, crowd analysis, human-machine interaction, smart homes and personal assistive robotics. In this paper, we propose improvements to some methods for human action recognition from videos that work with data represented in the form of skeleton poses. These methods are based on the most widely used techniques for this problem—Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs), Temporal Convolutional Networks (TCNs) and Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). Initially, the paper explores and compares different ways to extract the most relevant spatial and temporal characteristics for a sequence of frames describing an action. Based on this comparative analysis, we show how a TCN type unit can be extended to work even on the characteristics extracted from the spatial domain. To validate our approach, we test it against a benchmark often used for human action recognition problems and we show that our solution obtains comparable results to the state-of-the-art, but with a significant increase in the inference speed.

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