Updated: 2 February 2022 - 3:19pm by E. Silles
Start:2019 / End:2022
Principal investigator: María Malfaz
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Robots sociales para la estimulación física, cognitiva y afectiva de mayores
The final goal of this project is to study the use of social robots to improve the quality of life of the elderly. In order to maintain their wellbeing for a longer period of time, it is essential that they remain mentally as well as physically active. On the other hand, a positive emotional state is also very important for a good mental health.
Human life expectancy has been continuously increasing during last decades, and many developed countries, inside and outside Europe, face the great problem of having an aging population. The inverted pyramid of population implies having more elders than young people who can take care of them. New technologies, particularly robots, can be very useful to alleviate this problem.

This project continues the line of work of the research group in the field of social robotics and, in particular, in the application of social robots to help elderly people. In the previous national project, ROBSEN (DPI2014-57684-R), we studied the possibilities that social robots can offer to help elders with cognitive impairment. In that project, we developed a robot endowed with functions oriented towards entertainment, company, monitoring, personal assistance, and a first approach to cognitive stimulation activities. As a result of this project, it was found that social robots can also offer great possibilities as an element of stimulation for elders. For this reason, this new project is going to deepen specifically in this application.

The ultimate goal of this new project, like the previous one, is still to continue studying the use of social robots to improve the quality of life of the elderly. In order to maintain the wellbeing of the elderly for longer, it is essential that they remain active, both mentally and physically. Besides, maintaining a positive emotional state is also very important for mental health. Considering all this, this project focuses on the development of several social robots endowed with physical, emotional and cognitive stimulation skills. As will be detailed in the specific objectives section, we propose the construction of 3 types of social robots: Mini-type robot (developed under the previous project), a pet-robot and a mobile robot. Due to the particularities of the users of this project, their functionalities and features will be specified throughout the project under the supervision of experts in the elderly, as will be detailed in the project methodology and the workplan.

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