Co-designed technology for elderly care : Mobile robots and passive RFID for nighttime safety
Leino, Mirka; Merilampi, Sari; Valo, Pauli; Khan, Zahangir; Virkki, Johanna (2021-09)
09 / 2021
2021 6th International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Technologies, SpliTech 2021
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Ageing of the world's population is one of the significant challenges of the modern era. As the care resources are limited, new tools are needed for supporting elderly to live high quality life. Technology is identified as one of the potential tools. In this article, a combination of mobile robotics and RFID technology is used to provide a new tool for care homes, especially targeted for helping in night shifts. By combining passive RFID and mobile robots in a unique way, we create a system that can take actions in preventing potential accidents by identifying, alerting and helping a care home client at risk. The design process followed a co-design approach, where the use scenario and technical setup were created in a multidisciplinary collaboration. This was followed by building a laboratory version of the system, in which a mobile robot identifies and greets a person wandering in the care environment at night, and gently guides the person back to the room for a safe night. Although there are multiple technical details, which need to be developed further, the laboratory test results were very encouraging.
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