Mobile Assistive Robot in an Inclusive Space: An Introduction to the MARIS Project

  • Yesenia Aquilina
  • Michael A. SalibaEmail author
  • Simon G. Fabri
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11876)


Elderly or infirm persons who live alone may encounter difficulties in carrying out the instrumental activities of daily living. Often such persons who would prefer to live independently are forced to rely on outside assistance from family, friends, or social workers, or possibly even to leave their homes. A potential approach to address this social issue involves the use of an assistive robot to provide help within the home. However the challenges involved in achieving a satisfactory robot design for reliable operation within the typically unstructured domestic environment remain difficult to meet. To date, attempts reported in the literature to mitigate this problem by developing a more amenable home environment – a robot-inclusive space – remain sparse and preliminary. In this work, a new systematic engineering approach is taken to address this problem. A structured data collection exercise has been carried out with samples of older adults and of associated allied healthcare professionals to first identify those regular tasks within the home that are typically problematic for the elderly. These tasks are then analyzed to extract those specific steps, movements and performance skills that could benefit from facilitation through a combined approach of environment-redesign and robot assistance. A new conceptual design for a robot-inclusive kitchen has been generated, and an associated prototype six-degree-of-freedom tele-operated domestic robot has been designed and constructed.


Domestic robot Robot-inclusive space Assisted living 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MaltaMsidaMalta

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