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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
  • 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


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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