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University of Amsterdam (UvA) professor Ben Kröse is part of a European research team working on a robot intended to help elderly people around the house. During the three-year project, researchers will study the needs of older people and their acceptance of a robot as part of an intelligent home environment

University of Amsterdam (UvA) professor Ben Kröse is part of a European research team working on a robot intended to help elderly people around the house. During the three-year project, researchers will study the needs of older people and their acceptance of a robot as part of an intelligent home environment. The study is being coordinated by the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and is financed in part by the European Commission.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire are coordinating the new European project, titled Acceptable Robotics Companions for Ageing Years (ACCOMPANY), and the university will also be serving as a base for the research team’s work on the robot. The results will be used to made technical adjustments and better equip the robot to meet users’ preferences.

As professor by special appointment of Ambient Robotics at the UvA, Kröse is excited to be involved in the research. ‘Thanks to this project, we’ll finally be able to look on a larger scale at how older people interact with companion robots, by testing the robot in a realistic environment over long periods of time. Aside from the University of Hertfordshire, the robot will also be tested in care institutions run by the French expert centre Maintien en Autonomie à Domicile des Personnes Agées’ (MADoPA).

Other organisations participating in the project include the Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Limburg, the German Fraunhofer Institute, the University of Siena and the University of Birmingham.