New robot could allow people with dementia to live independently.

New robot could allow people with dementia to live independently

A new robot could allow people with dementia to live independently. The device, called The Robot Activity Support System (or RAS), uses sensors to determine where a person is in their home, what they're doing, and whether they need help with a specific task. The robot, developed by scientists at Washington State University, hopes to allow people with dementia and other limiting conditions navigate their own homes without the need for a carer. Science Daily reports that RAS can follow a person around their home, lead them to objects such as medication or food, and provide how-to videos for other tasks. Postdoctoral researcher Bryan Minor said that the robot can both offer assistance and determine when assistance is needed."RAS combines the convenience of a mobile robot with the activity detection technology of a WSU smart home to provide assistance at the moment, as the need for help is detected," he said. A recent study conducted by researchers showed that RAS was able to determine when a person needed help and provide them with assistance.26 students went about completing tasks around the home, such as taking medication, getting ready to go outside, and watering plants. When the student failed to complete the task, the robot used its sensors to locate the person and provide them with the option to view a video of the next step of the activity, a video of the whole activity, or to lead them to an object.RAS's next study will involve a group of older adults.