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RAPP project

On 11 and 12 December, the first meeting of the RAPP project, Robotic Applications for Delivering Smart User Empowering Applications, took place in Thessaloniki, Greece. The RAPP project has a duration of 3 years, is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union and involves 7 partners from different countries (Greece, France, Poland, United Kingdom and Spain) including Matia Institute.

The main idea of the project is to create a software platform that enables the development and use of robotic applications with the ultimate goal of helping people at risk of exclusion and especially older people. For this purpose, two different types of robots will be used, ANG MED and NAO in different scenarios.

The NAO robot will be used in Greece to teach and accompany elderly people in the use of new technologies.

In Matia Institute, work will be done with the ANG MED robot, a walker with the following characteristics:

  • Gait analysis: the trajectory of the walker can be calculated using the information from encoders. This trajectory can be used to characterize the end user's walking patterns.
  • Fall detection: a fall can be assumed if excessive acceleration/speed is detected in the walker. At that moment the clutches of the walker are activated to stop it (this action can prevent a fall) and a warning is sent.
  • General mapping of the environment: On-board sensors can be used, for example, to calculate the side slope or detect low kerbs and are located in the surroundings with the GPS. This information is stored and used to draw a collaborative map, which can then be used to plan an appropriate route for the end user taking into account their mobility difficulty.
  • Non-intrusive navigation aid: the walker's sensors can detect obstacles so that the clutches can then be used to slightly modify the walker's trajectory to avoid collisions.

Matia Instituto's work in the RAPP project will consist of a) collecting the needs and requirements of the different users (elderly people, professionals and family members) and defining a specific user profile and scenario to carry out a pilot with the ANG MED robot and the applications developed according to those needs; b) ensuring that all regulations and ethical aspects affecting users are complied with during the project; c) defining and carrying out a pilot in a residential environment to assess the usefulness and acceptance of the walking frame and its different functions; d) collaborating with the other partners in disseminating the results of the project.

Thus, we have ahead of us a nice work to do with the aim of providing older people with greater security when walking in a way that motivates them to move and participate more in their environment without their mobility difficulties isolating them.

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