Start of pilots for home robot ARI in EU project SHAPES

Social robot ARI with an elderly woman during project SHAPES

ARI Home Robot for Project SHAPES

The use of technology to help achieve excellence in science and industry, as well as to tackle societal challenges, such as an aging population, are amongst the key objectives of Horizon Europe, of the European Commission. An aging population, brings amongst other changes, an increased need for healthcare provision, which includes support and assistance in the home as well as in residential homes and hospitals. 

Within Horizon Europe, project SHAPES is directly working to address some of these challenges. SHAPES aims to facilitate the use of robotics in ambient assisted living, to help users with reduced physical or mental capabilities in their daily lives. As part of the project, SHAPES, which we are a project partner in, has recently started piloting our robot ARI as a home robot, in individual user homes, sheltered housing, and residential homes. 

Start of first pilots supporting users in homes

This month has been an exciting time for the project with pilots launched at the first home in Mallorca. The very first pilot is taking place with Clinica Humana, a private clinic with more than 7-years of expertise in chronic patient management (currently, over 600 patients). They provide hospital care to seniors residences, communities, and homebound patients with a strong technological component in telemedicine and also work on the development of an ecosystem of virtual nurses based on Artificial intelligence – who talk with the patient through different devices, such as a smartphone or a smart TV.

This pilot features our humanoid social robot ARI joining a user in their home to help with daily activities (Juana, who is 82 years old and living alone). Here robot ARI will support Juana with activities such as providing verbal reminders of tasks, giving news and updates, and being able to offer assistance including calling family members. To prepare for this pilot at Juana’s home, PAL Robotics engineers analysed the environment and demonstrated ARI’s different capabilities as a home robot to those involved.

The social robot ARI helps an elderly woman during Project SHAPES

During the first SHAPES project pilots in Mallorca, ARI will have two destinations: 

  • The private homes of some Clinica Humana patients, such as Juana
  • The sheltered apartments at C’an Granada 

In these pilots, the objective is to test the interaction of robot ARI with users, in order to support day-to-day management in residences and in homes. 

Robot ARI is designed to recognise faces, and following this provides a personal interaction to users taking part in the pilot, such as reminding them to take their medications, reminding them of family events, and offering a series of games designed by specialists to improve memory and cognitive functions. In addition, ARI is able to detect patient temperatures and detect falls, acting as an alert system to caregivers/medical personnel. 

In the pilot at C’an Granada, it is planned that robot ARI will measure temperatures, recognise users and interact with them through voice and touchscreen, gather people’s menus and tell them what there is to eat, and call the reception, amongst other tasks.

Clinica Humana said of their participation in the SHAPES project, “this human / virtual hybrid forms a first-level health service that allows efficient and continuous management of both complex and chronic multi-pathological patients. The hybrid healthcare model provides care to the patient without losing the human quality of the healthcare professional.”

Clínica Humana and PAL Robotics

SHAPES project pilot phases

Phase 3 

  • Until early September 2021, where the different functionalities of ARI will be shown and tuned by project partner Clinica Humana and with users
  • To show some demos of ARI in the context of the pilot, and initial integration of some of the SHAPES Digital Solutions and familiarise users with ARI.

Phase 4 

  • From October 2021, where ARI will be taken to more end-users homes
  • First tests and feedback gathered

Phase 5

  • Planned for late 2022, a pilot with 4-5 older people 
  • In homes and sheltered apartments 
  • Robot ARI will be at each site for 4 weeks 

The social robot ARI inside a house next to a stairwell during Project SHAPES

PAL Robotics’ ARI robot for Human-Robot interactions

ARI is a social humanoid robot by PAL Robotics, launched in 2019. Robot ARI is designed to operate in social settings, in particular, to assist and entertain individuals and groups in areas such as events, front desks in organisations, as a home robot, healthcare, airports, and retail. Some of the Human-Robot interactions ARI offers include meeting and greeting, answering questions, providing information and games through the touchscreen, making phone calls, teleoperation, and entertaining through movements and gestures. 

Project SHAPES “Smart and Healthy Ageing through People Engaging in supportive Systems”

SHAPES stands for “Smart and Healthy Ageing through People Engaging in supportive Systems” – the project has the goal of creating an environment that supports the deployment of digital solutions to support healthy and independent living for older individuals. The overall aim of the project is to be able to increase healthcare provision across Europe through smart digital solutions which are personalised to user needs. The SHAPES project includes 36 partners across 16 European countries, such as Spain, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, France, Cyprus and others. Partners are brought together here for the joint development of digital solutions that ensure active aging and a healthy population.

SHAPES is one of a number of EU projects that PAL Robotics is a project partner in. We also partner in additional projects in healthcare and ambient assisted living, as well as projects covering areas such as agrifood, smart cities, factories of the future, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Deep Learning. We are always on the look for new collaborations, to find out more about EU-funded projects or request information, visit PAL Robotics’ collaborative projects webpage and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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