Section: Application Domains

Personal Assistance

During the last fifty years, many medical advances as well as the improvement of the quality of life have resulted in a longer life expectancy in industrial societies. The increase in the number of elderly people is a matter of public health because although elderly people can age in good health, old age also causes embrittlement, in particular on the physical plan which can result in a loss of autonomy. That will force us to re-think the current model regarding the care of elderly people. (See the Robotics 2020 Multi-Annual Roadmap [43].) Capacity limits in specialized institutes, along with the preference of elderly people to stay at home as long as possible, explain a growing need for specific services at home.

Ambient intelligence technologies and robotics could contribute to this societal challenge. The spectrum of possible actions in the field of elderly assistance is very large. We will focus on activity monitoring services, mobility or daily activity aids, medical rehabilitation, and social interactions. This will be based on the experimental infrastructure we have built in Nancy (Smart apartment platform) as well as the deep collaboration we have with OHS. (OHS (Office d'Hygiène Sociale) is an association managing several rehabilitation or retirement home structures.)