Collaborative Service Robot for Care Environment

Lead: Machiel Van der Loos

Development of Collaborative Service Robot (CSR) technologies for care environments usually targets a certain population group like seniors or people with developmental disabilities (DD) and requires tailored and dedicated research and development. The aim of this translation project is to boost the research capabilities of an ongoing project with JDQ Systems Inc. as the industry partner. JDQ’s vision is to design and build a CSR that will help people with developmental disabilities (DD) and elders in care centers reach their personal goals and achieve greater independence, using existing and new technologies. The overall research involves a user-centered design and evaluation process focused on both assisting people with DD and elders while facilitating the task of their care givers.

Van der Loos and team plans to network with elder care centers across metro Vancouver in order to recruit user groups and to assess the elder care center market as potential early adopters of the technology. The team also hopes to recruit an NGO called the Open Roboethics Institute (ORi), a team of experts in robot ethics, to develop an ethical design guideline starting at this early stage of research and development. Through this, the team will be able to address privacy and ethics as essential design aspects of the envisioned CSR, a critical component since the CSR will be interacting with its clients for long periods of time and engaging with them to complete their daily tasks. This ethical guideline for such a case study will bring in new perspectives to DFP researchers/students as they will be designing other technologies for people in the future.