Friday, May 4, 2012

On robots for the elderly

I have always been fascinated by the potential of combination of event processing and robotics, and have written about it before, as well as followed some work in this area.   Recently I have read some material about EU project called ROBOT-ERA,  which is aimed at providing robot's support for the elderly.  Their plan is to create three type of robots for the elderly, which they call - domestic (for the room/apartment), condominium (for the bigger house/ home for the aged), and outdoor, with communication between the three types.  This system is obviously event-driven, but as many of the applications of the world it does not use COTS of event processing, but home-built solutions.    I think that while the event processing community concentrated in the COTS, it should also pay attention to help those who role their own --- I'll write more about it.
I also think that there is a huge  potential of smart systems and robots to help the elderly which sometimes the world looks to them very challenging,   Besides the EU projects there are other activities in this area in Japan, and Australia (watch this video). I assume there are others as well.  When such technology will become pervasive and affordable, it will have a significant impact on quality of life of elderly people.