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HELSEVEL-H-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester

Human Interactive Robotics for Healthcare

Alternative title: Humanoid Interaktiv robotikk for bruk i helsevesenet

Awarded: NOK 5.6 mill.

HIRo proposes a new concept for improving healthcare and homecare services through the integration of a humanoid robot (EVE). The goal is to have the robot supporting staff and patients is daily tasks such as transporting or handling over equipment needed for medical duties; helping patients finding their way in the consultation facilities; or aiding less autonomous patients to reach for objects or moving around. Our multidisciplinary team is uniquely suited for this work, including healthcare and homecare forerunners in hospital and municipal contexts, ground-breaking robot developers, and skilled human-machine interaction and safety researchers. In this project we will work closely with healthcare staff and patients to pinpoint the necessities, wishes, and expectations for interaction with a humanoid robot. Likewise, we will study which are the adoption barriers and the potential unwanted effects of the introduction of the robot in the healthcare and homecare contexts. This work will be crucial for the development of useful and efficient robot platforms that are accepted by healthcare staff and patients. In HIRo we will identify concrete contexts in healthcare and homecare where several types of tasks and applications of an advanced humanoid robot could be experimented and implemented. Our objective is that we are able to deliver an innovative solution to real challenges in day to day tasks. We will conduct interviews, meetings, workshops and discussions to better understand the needs, attitudes, and perception of the role of the robot. Later in the project we will conduct simulation and real-world tests where the staff and patients will cooperate with the robot. This will allow us to study for instance, how the robots communication can impact humans' perception of friendliness and trustworthiness; or the staffs and patients perception of the robot's intentions and willingness to collaborate.

HIRo proposes a new concept for improving healthcare services through the integration of a humanoid robot platform (EVE R3) to support staff and patients in healthcare contexts: from assisting healthcare staff (for instance caring or handing over equipment needed for medical tasks) to supporting dependent patients in everyday tasks (like fetching objects or guiding them in the facilities). This platform will be based on user needs (both healthcare staff and patients) and integrated with ongoing changes in hospital facilities and municipal services, intending to potentiate their impact on work processes and types of services available. Identifying requirements for deployment and adoption barriers will be crucial to the development of useful and efficient technology that is adopted by both healthcare staff and patients in different settings and for specific tasks. In HIRo we will select concrete contexts in healthcare where several types of tasks and applications of an advanced humanoid robot could be piloted and deployed with a thorough need-finding analysis and assessment process to ensure that the technology is useful and accepted by the end-users and achieves the intended goals. We will provide evidence on the relevance, applicability, efficiency, usability and acceptability of robotics in hospital and homecare settings. Our multidisciplinary team, led by end-users and involving robot developers and experimental and organisational researchers in human-robot interaction and safety, is uniquely suited for the task. Through an integrated approach, we aim to gather empirical evidence for human-robot interaction in both controlled/laboratory settings (e.g. studying aspects such as how robot emotional expressions can impact humans' perception of friendliness and trustworthiness), as well as in realistic simulation of rehabilitation settings/home assistance services (users' perception of the robot's intentions and willingness to collaborate).

Activity:

HELSEVEL-H-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester