Robbie the Robot for monitoring and caring people with dementia

Impact: REF impact, Health impacts, Social impacts, Quality of life impacts

Description of impact

Can Robotics and AI transform our social care? Advancement in technology and in medicine has had significant impact on our longevity. That’s why there is a pressing requirement for robotics and automation to boost the need for social care, whether in home or in institutions. This is partly because we already suffer from labour shortages in elderly care institutions. Studies have shown that the amount of time a health care provider will spend with one patient will decrease and that is only in terms of physical care. There will certainly be little or no time for social care.

Research insights from the Computer Science department at Edge Hill University has influenced the development of AI for Robbie to help monitor and care for older people. Robbie learns about dementia after watching ITVs Emmerdale episodes involving the dementia story line. The Alzheimer’s Society has described it as a “realistic portrayal” of the condition. Robbie could spot signs of depressive and aggressive behaviour in the hope that robots like him will be able to help people living with the condition. In test situations Robbie is highly accurate at identifying aggressive and depressive behaviour when compared to happy and neutral behaviour. He is also trained to recognise over 80 common objects, as well as human actions (e.g. drinking water, talking over phone, etc.) and emotions (e.g. happy, sad, etc.)

The research insights are covered by various local, national and international media: BBC News, Daily Mirror, The Times, The Sun, Daily Mail, The Metro, Outlook, and many more.

Robbie was also appeared in BBC Radio Lancashire - Graham Liver breakfast show and his intelligence was discussed in talkRADIO - Eamonn Holmes show and The Late Late Early Early Show with Paul Ross
Impact date1 Mar 2017
Category of impactREF impact, Health impacts, Social impacts, Quality of life impacts
Impact levelEngagement