There are widely acknowledged imperatives for helping the elderly live at home - independently for as long as possible. Without cognitive stimulation support the elderly dementia and depression sufferers can deteriorate rapidly and the carers ill face a more demanding task. Both groups are increasingly at the risk of social exclusion.
The FP7 Integrated Project CompanionAble will provide the synergy of Robotics and Ambient Intelligence technologies and their integration to provide for a care-giver's assistive environment. This will support the cognitive stimulation and therapy management of the care-recipient. This is mediated by a robotic companion (mobile facilitation) working collaboratively with a smart home environment (stationary facilitation).Positive effects of both individual solutions shall be combined to demonstrate how the synergy between a stationary smart home solution and an embodied mobile robot companion can make the care and the care-recipient’s interaction with her assistive system significantly better.
Starting with a profound requirements engineering for ICT-supported care and therapy management for the care-recipients, basic technologies for multimodal user observation and human-machine interaction will provide the fundamentals for the development of a stationary smart home assistive system and a mobile robot assistant, building the cornerstones of the overall system integrating the promising solutions of both parts.
After the realization of the respective scenarios, field trials will be carried out in care centers and home environments to evaluate and test the system. This way both scenarios can be evaluated to show their strengths and weaknesses. This will initiate the development of an overall, integrated care scenario (smart home with embedded robot companion).