The neglect of the care sector's true needs prevented the use of robots in nursing homes in Japan and Germany so far. Felix Carros of the University of Siegen knows what needs to be improved in robotic design to provide real help to caregivers and residents.
The new approach to designing and programming robots for elderly care taken by his team of German and Japanese experts is very promising: It is called 'Participatory Design for Robotics in Elderly Care', or PADERO for short.
The participatory design approach brings together caregivers, residents and engineers to find out what is really needed. Only then does the programming take place.
The humanoid nursing care assistants will never be as good as human caregivers, but they can save caregivers a lot of time for other tasks by acting as a motivator to keep residents mentally and physically active. They can also help with online research and lead exercise sessions, bringing smiles to the faces of residents and care-givers alike.
University of Siegen, PADERO