The GUARDIAN project is developing a social robot that will ease the burden on caregivers by interacting with elderly people living at home. The three-year project began in February 2020 and is a collaboration between Vilans and national and international partners.
GUARDIAN is a platform that consists of a social robot located in the home of the elderly and other users that is connected to an app for caregivers via the GUARDIAN cloud. The care robot serves as a companion and interacts with users in the comfort of their own home. It gives them reminders to eat, drink or take medicine and helps provide daily structure. The robot also serves as the ‘eyes, ears and a communication channel’ for the caregiver by unobtrusively sensing the overall well-being of the person and provides feedback to the caregivers.
The GUARDIAN robot will be more widely deployable and a lot more advanced than existing models. For example, it contains sensors that can create an accurate image of the house like a radar. In this way the carer can be alerted from a distance if, for example, his patient or family member has fallen. Using the app, the carer will be able to direct the robot to the location and establish a speech-image connection via the robot.
The GUARDIAN robot is being developed in co-creation with users and caregivers. The team is collaborating with both groups to assess which functionalities have added value, such as information about the well-being of the person, general daily activities, a health analysis, and focus on fall prevention. Unique to this project is the inclusion of business modeling and ethical issues from the start.
The GUARDIAN project is being coordinated by two senior researchers at Vilans, Dr. Henk Herman Nap and Dirk Lukkien.
More information on the GUARDIAN project