Growmeup – Enhancing the Quality of Life of Elderly People

GrowMeUp is a European research project that develops an affordable robotic platform to support older people with light physical and mental health problems. It is a collaborative effort between eight companies and research organisations from five different countries, led by the University of Coimbra (Portugal).

Growmeup has been designed to provide a novel solution to the challenge of providing a quality of life and enhancing the lives of the elderly without increasing their overall costs. In particular, the system is able to utilise state of the art cloud computing technologies and machine learning mechanisms in order to extend and increase its knowledge continuously over time.

One of the most impressive features of the platform is the ‘tiny’ but effective robot brain which is designed to make sense of the data it collects, and to be able to act upon it. It also allows the robot to use a wide range of sensors, in particular for monitoring the health of its users, such as heart rate, respiration and temperature.

The ‘tiny’ but effective robot is complemented by an innovative human-robot interaction system that makes it possible to learn from the elder person’s preferences and behaviour, in order to provide a personalised service. A ‘high-fidelity’ augmented reality technology is applied to the device, to help it understand what the elder is trying to convey to it.

Best of all, the Growmeup system is also a novelty in its own right, demonstrating that it’s possible to develop an affordable robotic system that can enhance a person’s quality of life and increase their years of independence.

The Growmeup ‘tiny’ but effective robot will be a welcome addition to the homes of many elderly people, particularly in developing nations such as Portugal and the Netherlands, where an ageing population is requiring more care at home than in other countries. It will have a big impact in reducing the number of elderly who require full time care, while increasing their overall quality of life.

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