The device can understand a set of voice commands and can be activated by means of simple verbal instructions given by the user (e.g., "take me to the kitchen"). To do this, it includes elements for independent movement and a personalized intelligent software agent.
This tool is based on intelligent multiagent systems technology (personal agents or software systems that observe and interact with their surroundings independently, proactively and rationally and have the ability to learn and communicate). It adapts to the specific assistance requirements of the people who use it and enhances their autonomy by helping them to take decisions that are usually beyond their scope due to physical, mobility or cognitive obstacles imposed by ageing or their illness.
The i-Walker can be used for medical rehabilitation as it can help in the recovery and strengthening of motor skills by allowing the amount of aid provided to the user to be adjusted under medical supervision. Parameters such as the effort made by the user in walking, the distance travelled and the calories burned during movement are recorded and measured by the walker. The system uses an accelerometer to detect possible falls, correct itineraries and turning angles and control braking.
The device is part of the European project Supported Human Autonomy for Recovery and Enhancement of Cognitive and Motor Abilities Using Information Technologies (SHARE-it), led by Ulises Cortés. The project is part of the Sixth Framework Programme and the Information Society Technologies programme, within the area of Ambient Assisted Living.
Universities, research centres, healthcare centres and companies from Spain, Italy, Germany and Romania are taking part in the project. They include UPC, the University of Malaga, the University of Bremen (Germany), Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (Germany), the Ana Aslan International Academy of Aging (Romania), Fondazione Santa Lucia (Italy), Centro Assistenza Domiciliare Azienda Sanitaria Locale RM B (Italy) and Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo.SHARE-it: Intelligent Mechanisms for the Home
The technology includes systems for facilitating communication, intelligent behaviour and mobility support that are intuitive and can interpret the voice, sight, touch and gestures of the user. These systems can provide assistance to users in their daily activities and report their state of health to the people caring for them via monitoring and mobile systems.Wheelchair and mobility platform
The three mobile systems—walker, wheelchair and platform—can detect the position of the patient in the home and in other known environments such as hospitals and primary-care centres as they include a special monitoring system. They can also adapt their autonomy to the requirements of the user by means of a cognitive model based on interpretation of the information provided by the biosensors and on the person's disability profiles provided by a medical team. This allows them to provide the carers with continuous information on the user's state of health.Technology that provides welfare
Robotics, artificial intelligence and information and communication technology—such as that included in the intelligent walker developed by UPC—can compensate for the loss of sensory, motor and cognitive functions caused by the passage of time and by disease in the elderly. They can also help to reinforce and stimulate human skills and improve well-being in daily life.
Rossy Laciana | alfa
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