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Europe leads the way in assistive robots for the elderly

Robert Bogue (Independent Consultant, Okehampton, UK)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide details of European research projects and product developments involving robots that can assist the ageing population.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, the role of assistive robots and research into the nature of the human–robot interaction are considered. The paper then discusses a selection of European research projects and a number of companies producing or developing assistive robots. Finally, brief conclusions are drawn.

Findings

In recognition of the fact that the growing, ageing population has needs that place an unsustainable burden on carers and healthcare providers, Europe is investing heavily in assistive robots. Many European Union-funded, collaborative projects have been conducted and several continue today which build on the extensive body of earlier research. Significant progress is being made, and assistive robot research has moved on from purely technological developments to field trials involving real people in realistic environments. Several products exist or are at an advanced stage of development and have often benefited or arisen from these projects. Europe is in a very strong position to capitalise on this emerging market opportunity.

Originality/value

This provides a detailed insight into European assistive robot development activities.

Keywords

Citation

Bogue, R. (2017), "Europe leads the way in assistive robots for the elderly", Industrial Robot, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 253-258. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-02-2017-0041

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited