Alzheimer`s Disease (AD) and even forms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Senior Citizens, have a growing impact on the Society, Health- Care and Politic organizations in Europe. As there is currently no cure for cortical dementia after its onset, the current goal of the research on this topic is reducing or delaying its occurrence with a timely intervention. In fact, research in the last decade proved that rehabilitation has to be performed on daily basis to yield significant benefits. PARTNER project aims at developing a low-cost humanoid assistive robot that, through natural communication channels such as speech and gestures and by assuming the social role of partner, encourages senior citizens to follow a personalized daily activity plan that reduces or delays in time the negative effects of chronic MCI. PARTNER goes beyond the traditional assistive robotics and ICT solutions:1) by providing a low-effective proactive humanoid assistive robot that interacts as companion, 2) by eliciting empathic relationship with elderly people shaped on innate abilities which are naturally developed in humans 3) by moving the rehabilitation focus from pure cognitive tasks to include motor and social cognitive activities; 4) by monitoring in order to adapt to the performance of the senior citizen and 5) build a database of large group of ageing people affected by MCI with purpose of improving the rehabilitation procedures for the final user and for the large community of elderly people with MCI. In PARTNER, the low-cost solution of the Humanoid Assistive Robot allows for social interaction and challenging cognition. The use of an embodied, humanoid controllable agent, allows enriching the rehabilitation, with the possibility of grounding the cognitive tasks into three principal domains: social, mental and motor cognition activities. To address social proactive activities, the proposed application is designed to motivate for social interaction.
Partners participating to the project