Robotic Ambient Assisted Living

Robotic, autonomous and interactive systems (RAIS) for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems
Description of the Project: 

Robots, autonomous and interactive systems, especially when combined with sensing infrastructures and smart home technology, are currently being developed to provide general assistance around the home, for instance, performing household chores and assuring safety, but they also have the potential to reduce social isolation, support cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation practices, and even assist vulnerable people directly with physical aspects of care including help with personal mobility, eating and drinking, dressing, and toileting [1-3]. 

I am interested in supervising projects in this area, such as::

•    Applications and studies of social and domestic robots as part of  social care practices  [4], including for companionship and cognitive stimulation for people with Alzheimer or Dementia in residential care and home care settings.

•            Ambient Intelligence (AmI) approaches to embed robotic technology in everyday environments, especially to provide support to vulnerable people suffering from sensory, cognitive (e.g. Dementia) or physical impairments.

•    Investigating the role of creativity in human-robot interaction, for instance, by developing end-user programming tools and programming by demonstration techniques to let end-users train systems in specific tasks (such as helping with daily activities, cleaning, fetching objects, etc..).

Resources required: 
These projects are associated with the Robotic Assisted Living Testbed (RALT) [5]. The laboratory is part of a network of international “home lab” test-bed facilities . The RALT is a 60 square meters, fully sensorised smart robotic space designed to resemble a typical single level home comprising an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area and a bathroom and bedroom. The testbed is equipped with state of the art smart home technology, and hosts a number of domestic robots (PAL Robotics Tiago, Toyota Human Support Robot, Softbank Robotics Pepper, Double tele-presence robot, MiRo from Consequential Robotics). The testbed is designed to test, validate and benchmark IoT and Robotic technology for assisted living applications. The testbeds hosts the European Robotic League (ERL) Consumer Service Robots and the METRICS competitions, which aim to bolster research in service robotics for home applications.
Project number: 
First Supervisor: 
Heriot-Watt University
Essential skills and knowledge: 
Software Engineering
Desirable skills and knowledge: 
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Human-Robot Interaction

[1] M. Dragone, et. al, A cognitive robotic ecology approach to self-configuring and evolving AAL systems. Eng. Appl. Artif. Intell. 45, C (October 2015), 269-280.

[2] M. Dragone, J Saunders, K Dautenhahn, On the integration of adaptive and interactive robotic smart spaces, Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 2015

[3] Tony Prescott, Praminda Caleb-Solly, Robotics in Social Care: A Connected Care EcoSystem for Independent Living, UK RAS
White Paper, HWU contributors: Oliver Lemon, Mauro Dragone. Online at, Accessed 17/2/2018

[4] Edinburgh Center for Robotics: