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SRS Home Tests

The SRS project has carried out its first set of user tests in a real-world home environment at the home of an elderly couple living near Stuttgart, Germany (pictured on the right). Nicely mimicking the expected usage pattern of the SRS system, where children living a long distance from their parents use SRS to interact with and help their parents.

In addition to obtaining important feedback from potential elderly SRS end-users the test was also an opportunity to identify any technical problems that happen when the Care-o-Bot robot operates within a real home environment.

fetch and carry

SRS User Interface Tests

emergency As well as testing the SRS Care-o-Bot, tests have been conducted into several of the SRS interfaces. Specifically the Android smartphone and Apple iPad user interfaces. These tests were performed in order to help determine the initial "feelings" of both the elderly people and the family member when using the corresponding SRS interface.

The elderly users got the robot to fetch milk for them using the Android based smartphone interface. In addition to this testing with elderly people and family members, testing has also been undertaken with students to view their perceptions of the interfaces.

SRS Manipulation Tests

Recently the first SRS evaluation trials with real users took place the IZA centre in San Sebastian, Spain (which is a care home for elderly people and a residential care center for people of all ages with severe physical impairments).

During these evaluation trials two scenarios were examined: SRS Manipulation test scenario: Where a robotic arm simulating the Care-o-Bot 3 arm grasps an object that is near an elderly person in order to evaluate how they react to having a robot arm operating in close proximity. In addition to this the SRS professional operator interface for robot visualization was tested by performed a grasping task.

fetch and carry

SRS @ IROS 2011

SRS @ IROS As part of the IROS 2011 conference the SRS project demonstrationed its semi-autonomous Tele-Operation Interface for robotic fetch and carry tasks to the conference's international audience including world-leaders in the field of service robotics.

The interface, one of the three interfaces developed in the project, runs on an Apple iPAD device and is intended to enable extended family members to remotely control the SRS robot. Using this interface the remote operator can see live video feed from the robot’s cameras, 2D map of the environment and the current position of the robot. Additionally, the remote operator can issue high level commands to the robot and or adjust the robot position using the controls on the interface.

Fetch and carry scenario

Fetching and carrying objects around the home is one of the most common tasks of everyday living. However, for people with mobility difficulties due, for example, to arthritis, Parkinson's or other common diseases of old age, this everyday task often becomes a chore - particularly with heavy or difficult to reach objects. Even for people without these problems a short illness such as fracture could confine them to bed and make fetching and carrying a problem.

The SRS system will develop new interface and reasoning technologies to enable the Care-o-bot to be controlled remotely by a relative or care professional to help with fetch and carry tasks for an elderly person.

fetch and carry

Emergency help scenario

emergency Emergency situations are always a concern to the elderly living alone and their families. Current ways to deal with this include emergency buttons that inform a professional tele-care centre who call the emergency services.

The SRS system will develop new technologies to enable the Care-o-bot to be used by the care professional (and family members) to monitor the elderly person remotely during an emergency using a video call. In addition to this the care worker, using the robot, will be able to assist paramedics in gaining access to the elderly persons home by opening the door.

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