The European Union project SHAPES, will be starting use cases shortly, where ARI the robot will support users in their homes as a home robot. Social robot ARI has been adapted to be used with the smart digital platform created during the project, in order to help older users with aspects of day to day living, including mobility and rehabilitation exercises, engaging them in social activities, and assisting them with specific tasks and reminders.

PAL Robotics’ social robot ARI

PAL Robotics’ ARI is a high-performance robotic platform with human-like features, designed for a wide range of multimodal expressive gestures and behaviours, focused on social interaction. The robot consists of a mobile base, torso with an integrated Linux-based tablet, two arms and a head with an expressive gaze. As a social robot, ARI serves as a therapeutic assistant at hospitals, care-homes or end-users homes to foster social communication, reduce loneliness and stress, and increase overall user enjoyment and activity.

Pilots of social robot ARI in homes and residential homes
Pilot 1 through Clinica Humana

Pilot 1 will take place at Clinica Humana (Mallorca, Spain) starting in May. End-users are people between 70-80 years old, living in urban environments and in their houses or in sheltered housing. The pilot will involve 4-5 participants during four weeks.

Pilot 4 in residential homes

Pilot 4 will use ARI to play cognitive games with older persons, where the robot will explain and instruct end-users to promote engagement. This will be done, for instance, with the help of a psychologist, where the robot will be used as a complementary tool to promote engagement in cognitive games. At some pilot sites, such as in Ireland, in contrast, ARI will be used in individual homes, where the robot will initiate interaction and remind users to play games.

Developments in ARI for the project including a thermal camera

During the project, digital solutions from SHAPES partners are being integrated into ARI to enhanced capabilities such as fall detection and video calls. For that, ARI offers the Rest API so that digital solutions may call its functions externally, enabling the use of other programming languages. Moreover, digital solutions may be integrated onto the robot as ROS nodes.

Modifications to the home robot for these pilots foresee the inclusion of a thermal camera. In the first project pilot, it will serve the robot to monitor the temperature of the user at home at given times of the day, as well as measure the temperature of any visitors to help detect symptoms of COVID-19. In upcoming pilots, where ARI will be playing cognitive games as part of a group, it is planned to use the camera to facilitate the caregiver to monitor the residents’ temperatures.

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