ACCOMPANY

The proposed ACCOMPANY system will consist of a robotic companion as part of an intelligent environment, providing services to elderly users in a motivating and socially acceptable manner to facilitate independent living at home. The ACCOMPANY system will provide physical, cognitive and social assistance in everyday home tasks, and will contribute to the re-ablement of the user, i.e. assist the user in being able to carry out certain tasks on his/her own. Services to the user will be delivered through socially interactive, acceptable and empathic interaction, building on computational models of robot social cognition and interaction. The envisaged relationship of the user with the robot is that of a co-learner – robot and user providing mutual assistance for the user not to be dominated by the technology, but to be empowered, physically, cognitively and socially.

The project combines a multidisciplinary consortium to tackle the technological as well as human-centred and ethical challenges of the project. A state of the art service robot platform, Care-O-bot® 3 will be used to assess user requirements and user acceptance of the robot. Results from user studies will then be fed back to adapt the technology so that it better suits user demands and preferences. Throughout the project such formative feedback results in different iterations of the ACCOMPANY prototypes.

Three test sites in three different European countries (UK, the Netherlands, France), as well as a dedicated showcase, will ensure an extensive evaluation process considering cultural differences. The ACCOMPANY system will be a novel technological solution TOWARDS facilitating independent living at home for elderly users. In addition, ACCOMPANY will specify and benchmark design and ethical guidelines for service robots for the elderly. The novel insights gained in the project will be made publicly available, thereby strengthening the European service robotics research and industry.The project combines a multidisciplinary consortium to tackle the technological as well as human-centred and ethical challenges of the project. A state of the art service robot platform, Care-O-bot® 3 will be used to assess user requirements and user acceptance of the robot. Results from user studies will then be fed back to adapt the technology so that it better suits user demands and preferences. Throughout the project such formative feedback results in different iterations of the ACCOMPANY prototypes.

I am the coordinator and co-investigator for this project. Prof Dautenhahn is the principal investigator for this project. For further information on this project please visit: http://accompanyproject.eu