ARI the Social Robot Wants to Make Your Life Easier
Last updated 7/16/2023 at 3:21pm | View PDF
Project SHAPES aims to incorporate robotics into assisted living by helping seniors in their daily lives. As part of the project, its social robot, ARI, has been taking part in a pilot program as a home robot in senior housing and residential homes.
SHAPES, which stands for "Smart and Healthy Aging through People Engaging in Supportive Systems," uses digital solutions to create an environment that supports healthy and independent living for older individuals. The overall goal of the project is to assist in healthcare that is personalized to user needs.
The European Union SHAPES project includes 36 partners across Europe working together to develop digital solutions that ensure active aging and a healthy population.
The first implementation of ARI took place at Can Granada, a residence in Mallorca, Spain, with independent accessible homes, fully equipped and adapted for people with reduced mobility.
This project featured ARI joining user Juana, who is 82 years old and living alone. Here, robot ARI supported Juana with activities such as providing verbal reminders of tasks, giving news and updates, and offering assistance such as calling family members.
To prepare for this pilot at Juana's home, PAL Robotics engineers analyzed the environment and demonstrated ARI's different capabilities as a home robot to those involved. In pilots such as this one, the objective has been to test the interaction of robot ARI with users in order to support day-to-day management in senior residences and in private homes.
During these pilots, examples of tasks social robot ARI carried out included:
• Visualizing the agenda of the day;
• Sending alerts to caregivers;
• Video calling;
• Playing games (puzzles, solitaire or finding matching pairs);
• Filling in the weekly menu;
• Voice-based assistant;
• Emotion recognition via TREE Technology; and
• Detecting and monitoring falls.
The main objective of these use cases is to evaluate the user engagement and usefulness of the digital solution developed to assist in cognitive activities. The digital solution used is SciFy's DiAnoia and Memor-i games, integrated within ARI.
"For us at PAL Robotics, we are very happy to have the chance to take part in projects such as SHAPES, as the project pilots help us to be able to push to develop robotics to become more and more useful in helping us in our daily lives," said Gizem Bozdemir, project manager at PAL Robotics.
ARI, launched in 2019, is designed to operate in both private and social settings. It can also assist and entertain individuals and groups at events, homes, healthcare facilities, airports and retail locations.
Some of the human-robot interactions ARI offers include meeting and greeting, answering questions, providing information and games through the touchscreen, making phone calls, teleoperation, and entertaining through movements and gestures.
Robot ARI is designed to recognize faces and once it does, it provides a personal interaction to users, such as reminding them to take their medications or about family events. It also offers a series of games designed by specialists to improve memory and cognitive functions.
In addition, ARI is able to detect patient temperatures and act as an alert system to caregivers and medical personnel.
SHAPES is one of a number of collaborative projects that PAL Robotics is involved in. Since 2004, the company has developed state-of-the-art robots specially designed to solve individual users' needs.
PAL Robotics, based in Barcelona, Spain, builds solutions for service industries and research institutions worldwide. The company has partnered in more than 40 collaborative research projects.