The RAMCIP Objectives
In order for RAMCIP to successfully realise its vision, several prerequisites are set in the form of major Scientific and Technological Objectives throughout the duration of the project. The overall project success will be defined by the effectiveness and efficiency of the appropriate synthesis, as well as the individual quality of the specific achievements. The main objectives of the RAMCIP project are:
- Objective 1: To develop a service robot that will be capable of robustly understanding actions, complex activities and behaviour of multiple persons in the user’s home
Novel methods for unobtrusive human activity recognition from computer vision sensors in a mobile sensing unit will be researched and developed, so as to enable the robot to robustly recognize complex human actions closely linked to the home environment, inferring the execution of complex daily activities such as cooking or housekeeping, detecting crucial forgotten actions, as well as emergency cases such as falls. Moreover, research will focus on novel methods for tracking multiple persons in the home environment, enabling the robot to monitor apart from its user also others, with special emphasis on family members.
- Objective 2: To develop a service robot that will provide proactive, discreet and optimal assistance to the user
Advanced cognitive functions and reasoning for the robot will be researched and developed, to enable proactive and optimal assistance provision in a series of use cases. These functions will build upon (a) personalised behavioural user models enabling the robot to robustly sense user behaviour and intention, as well as upon (b) sensing significant aspects of the home environment. The user models will be dynamic and adapt to the physical and cognitive state of the user as they evolve over time. On the basis of these models, the robot will act autonomously or in cooperation with the user to assist the execution of major activities of daily living, serve the user whenever necessary and ensure the avoidance of dangerous situations, operating at the same time in a discreet way. These cognitive functions will be designed with an emphasis on developing a companion whose behaviour will assist the user in exercising cognitive and physical skills.
- Objective 3: Establishment of advanced communication channels between the user and the robot
Novel methods for personalized and adaptive multimodal Human Robot Interaction will be researched and developed, allowing the robot to automatically switch between different interaction modalities or fuse them, ensuring the provision of optimal HRI on the basis of user behaviour and context. This HRI will be strongly augmented through novel empathic communication channels; novel human affect recognition methods based on analysis of the user pose and gestures will be researched; also, the robot’s behaviour will be subject to the user’s affect, trying to induce positive emotions when needed. The envisaged service robot will include novel interfaces based on augmented reality concepts, projecting information and highlights over locations in the room and objects.
- Objective 4: Establishment of advanced physical interaction between the robot and the home environment
To research and develop novel robot manipulation capabilities for supporting advanced grasping and dexterity functions of the robot, allowing it to grasp a variety of objects in the home environment, ranging from very small objects to dishes, cooking utensils etc., as well as to interact with home objects or appliances, such as doors, light switches or the oven. Emphasis will be put on reaching of the objects to be grasped in a smooth and safe way. Moreover, the possibility of enabling the robot to fetch objects that are placed at a height unreachable to the user will be developed, and the manipulation hardware will be designed to be implementable at a practical cost
- Objective 5: Establishment of assistance activities involving physical interaction between the robot and the user
Novel robot manipulation capabilities for supporting assistance activities that will involve physical contact between the robotic arm and the user. In this context, strong emphasis will be put on physical HRI research targeting safety and security for both the human and the robot. This will allow our research to focus on enabling the robot assist lower-body treatment activities that require bending, such as changing socks or shoes, or assist the user to place her/his feet on a footrest. Apart from picking up objects, emphasis will be put also on object handover. Such activities are vital for some of the target users, but also involve an underlying physical contact that can significantly advance the psychological connection between the user and the robot.
- Objective 6: To validate RAMCIP project results in real-life scenarios
Evaluation of the RAMCIP robot prototype will take place in two pilot sites, in Poland and in Spain, through trials that will involve MCI and AD patients.