Middlesex University

Care robots for the elderly

Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire are collaborating on a £2m international research project (Caresses) to develop the world’s first culturally aware robots to help look after older people in care homes or sheltered accommodation.

The robots will offer support with everyday tasks, like taking tablets, as well as offering companionship. Academics say they could alleviate pressures on care homes and hospitals.

It is hoped the new robots will help improve the well-being of their charges by providing entertainment and enabling them to connect better, through smart appliances, with family and the outside world. They will communicate through speech and with gestures, be able to move independently and pick up signs the elderly person is unwell or in pain.