Walker Robot Helps The Elderly

Pretty cool, and practical, robot to help the elderly created at the University of Trento, in northern Italy.

(Practical walking robot for elderly)

The walker obtains information about the environment around it through the wireless connections and that guides the user’s decision-making.

The device is stuffed with sensors, cameras, obstacle recognition systems and software components aimed at extending elderly people’s autonomous life beyond the home.

“Inside algorithms receive the information from all the sensors embedded in the walker. The algorithms then analyse all this data and suggest to Vittoria and other users a path that minimizes the chances of stumbling on problems. The system for instance will try to avoid obstacles that may be present in the environment, or people who may be walking and did not notice the presence of the walker and its user,” explained Alessio Colombo Computer scientist, University of Trento...

The technology was partially developed and assembled at the University of Trento. Engineers worked to equip the walker with both sensing and cognitive technologies, and friendly human-machine interfaces. Solutions were then tested by volunteers.

“With this machine you can be safer on the pavement or when you cross the street, etc… I think it is good when things like that are developed and when older people can buy or rent it for a certain price. That is really great,” pointed out Herbert Schuster, one of the volunteers.

Philip K. Dick anticipated this development in his 1953 story The Impossible Planet, which featured the robant:

Behind Norton came a withered old woman. Beside her moved a gleaming robant, a towering robot servant, supporting her with his arm. The robant and the tiny old woman entered the control room slowly...

Via Euronews.

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