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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Robots@home

The three-year, 3.2 million Euro project Robot@home began on May 1, 2007 and is has developed a scaleable, affordable platform, James the Robot, that corresponds to requirements of the project’s three industrial partners, companies in the areas of domotics (intelligent technology to automate the home environment), food delivery, and care for the elderly.

At present James is limited to orienting itself/himself to a room’s dimensions and contents. But it is foreseen that James will be able to help the elderly, those confined to bed or suffering from physical disabilities to get out of bed, fetch medication, do light carrying or even clean the apartment. Responding to verbal commands including “make and bring the coffee” are applications that are near to fruition. For James, who would help to ensure the continued autonomy and independence of the elderly at home, the future is open. The system has already been tested at the home furnishings store, IKEA, in Vienna, Austria. Testing will continue in different home environments.

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