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An Expressive Socially Assistive Robot for Health-Care Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Brian Allison, Goldie Nejat

State University of New York - Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

Paper No. DETC2008-50082, pp. 755-761; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2008-50082
From:
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 32nd Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4326-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

It is anticipated that the use of assistive robots will be one of the most important service applications of robotic systems of the future. In this paper, a unique non-contact socially assistive robot consisting of a human-like demeanor is presented for utilization in hospital wards and veteran homes to study its role and impact on the well-being of patients, addressing patient’s needs and its overall effect on the quality of patient care. The robot will be an embodied entity that will participate in hands-off non-contact social interaction with a patient during the convalescence, rehabilitation or end-of-life care stage. The robot has been designed as a platform to incorporate the three design parameters of embodiment, emotion and non-verbal communication to encourage natural interactions between a person and itself. In this paper, we present the mechanical design of the robot. The robot is able to communicate via: (i) a unique human-like face with artificial skin that utilizes the modeling of muscles of a human face to express facial expressions, (ii) a 3 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) neck capable of expressing head gestures, and (iii) an upper torso consisting of a 2 DOF waist and two 4 DOF arms designed to mimic human-like body language.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Health care

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