Robots in health care
: an AIBO controller for elderly entertainment

  • Theodhora Capeqi

    Student thesis: Master typesMaster in Computer science


    As aging population in our modern society grows progressively, and as life cost grows too, we are faced to a generation of elderly population willing to live in their homes, in order to avoid stays in clinics
    or retirement houses. But often, even those who can afford living in medical environments suffer from solitude. This phenomenon appears because there is a shortage of nursing stuff, but also because old or disabled persons are more and more abandoned by their families. For those reasons, the use of robots in health care is having a huge success, since it brings a solution to the medical staff shortage as well as to the economic issue. In respect to this context, this thesis presents the development of a controller, for the Sony AIBO (Artificially Intelligent roBOt) ERS-7 dog-like robot, projecting to make it find and fetch a newspaper in a domestic environment, with the aim of being used as an entertainment pet by the elderly. As this work covers many topics of the robotics domain - from perception to self-localization, dealing with behaviours and motions - an overview of each of the concerned topics will be presented first. These topics will also appear in the presentation of our contribution, with Perception being the most important part, since it constitutes the main source of knowledge for the robot and therefore influences its behaviours. In our work, Perception is based on image data processing, and behaviours are the result of the execution of some pre-defined plans designed through Petri Nets formalism. Finally, a critical view over the relevant and reliable character of the robots' use in our daily life will be exposed.
    Date of Award2006
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Namur
    SupervisorPIERRE-YVES SCHOBBENS (Supervisor)

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