Care robot ‘Misty’ was featured in a recent episode of the television program, “This is the Question” which looked at artificial intelligence. The lifestyle robot supports Mr. and Mrs. Dekker in their daily lives. Behind the scenes is Vilans Researcher, Bob Hofstede who specialises in interaction between humans and technology and is a graduate in social robotics (Human-Robot Interaction).
The episode, “Artificial intelligence: right or wrong?” was aired on May 10, 2023. It shows how healthcare robot Misty helps Mr. Dekker remember to take his medication.’The way it works in this report, is not how it is operating in the Netherlands yet.’ Hofstede says. He is involved in the international research program ‘GUARDIAN’, under which Misty falls. ‘
There is a lot involved in developing a healthcare robot. That is why in the GUARDIAN project we work together with national and international experts. The goal of the project is to develop an advanced robot that supports older people, district nurses and caregivers.’
Platform for care support
GUARDIAN is not about the hardware of the robot itself, but the software on which the system runs.
‘That is a platform in which clients, care professionals and informal caregivers enter the daily requirements and wishes, based on which, the system provides reminders and support. That it now takes the form of a robot is not necessary. It could also be just a tablet, for example. There is also research underway on whether the human or robot form works better than updates and reminders via tablet or the smartphone.’
The system is officially still in the testing phase and is therefore not yet being deployed on a large scale.
‘The insights from participating countries Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands are now being tested using prototypes like Misty. We are then testing not only Misty but also the associated tablet Liz in the Netherlands. The final evaluation was last March and the result is expected soon. And of course the studies on this form of artificial intelligence in healthcare will be continued. And this kind of technology will also be used more in the field.’