Featured on the BBC 2 programme, ‘Six Robots and Us” Carebot was created by Dr Theo Theodoridis, a lecturer in Robotics at the University of Salford.
Six Robots and Us is a unique experiment exploring the latest innovations in robotics. The programme featured Carebot, a prototype mobile robot designed by the University of Salford, for the Christmas documentary, which is actually an experiment of 6 robots that were given to live for two weeks with six different families. The family Carebot was chosen is a couple from Felixstowe where the lady lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and her partner is a full-time carer.
Carebot is a prototype home service robot, which was designed in only three months, to serve the disabled and the elderly using cutting edge technologies for sensing and monitoring, as well as multidisciplinary interfaces for decision making and control.
The robot’s AI includes three major interfaces that allow Carebot to work as a companion, monitor, and assistant. The companion model implements the robot’s personality allowing natural language communication with people, which makes the it very approachable and friendly as it can discuss about anything including latest news, sports, technology, science, horoscope, weather and more. The monitor model enables the robot to track and follow humans, detect falls, gas leaks and blackouts, make phone calls/messages under emergency scenarios, and provide medication reminders on a regular basis. Finally, the assistant model can be used to fetch and carry goods in any location around the house. To do this, the robot comprises an agile robotic arm with a large gripper attached to it as the end effector, from which objects up to 300g can be picked. For heavier objects, up to 1kg, Carebot can be commanded to deploy its serving tray.