A new care giving robot could enable elderly people to stay in their own homes for longer.
Trinity Engineers have teamed up with charity ALONE to launch the robot called Stevie.
The prototype, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, can perform functional tasks and interact socially. The team aims to have the robot market ready by the year 2021.
The robot has a similar form to a person, with two arms and a ‘head’ interface that allows it to provide social feedback to people working in its vicinity. Sounds, lights, facial expressions, and body language help it to communicate.
Stevie is mobile and uses cameras and sensors to interact intelligently with his environment, while on-board processors and wifi and bluetooth diversify its potential uses.
Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity, Conor McGinn, said Stevie has been designed to "reduce boredom and stimulate mental activity" and to "augment, not replace human care".
The Trinity team consulted with a wide range of experts during the robot’s development, including nurses and caregivers, elderly patients living in assisted care facilities.