The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people in their own homes.
EU invests in new technology to support silver generation
At 94, Grandma Lea could not live alone anymore, but she wanted to stay at home. She still does thanks to the EU-funded GiraffPlus (@giraffplus) system, which uses a combination of wearable devices, sensors throughout the home and a mobile robot to assist older people in their homes, and to connect them to family, friends and healthcare professionals who need to keep an eye on the person’s health and activities. The system should be in commercial production by the end of 2015. The EU market for robots and devices assisting elderly people is estimated to reach €13 billion by 2016.
Tjin Van Der Zant helped found “Robocup at Home” in 2006, and since then the organization has spread to include a number of new locations everywhere from Brazil to Thailand. As a professor at the University of Groningen in the Cognitive Robotics Lab, and founder of a Robotics startup and machine learning startup – he’s pretty “involved” when it comes to robots – and it made me eager to pick his brain about the future of home robotics.