Assistive Robots as Future Caregivers: The RAPP Approach
As our societies are affected by a dramatic demographic change, the percentage of elderly and people requiring support in their daily life is expected to increase in the near future and caregivers will not be enough to assist and support them. Socially interactive robots can help confront this situation not only by physically assisting people but also by functioning as a companion. The rising sales figures of robots point towards a trend break concerning robotics. To lower the cost for developers and to increase their interest in developing robotic applications, the RAPP approach introduces the idea of robots as platforms. RAPP (A Software Platform for Delivering Smart User Empowering Robotic Applications) aims to provide a software platform in order to support the creation and delivery of robotic applications (RApps) targeting people at risk of exclusion, especially older people. The open-source software platform will provide an API with the required functionality for the implementation of RApps. It will also provide access to the robots’ sensors and actuators employing higher level commands, by adding a middleware stack with functionalities suitable for different kinds of robots. RAPP will expand the robots’ computational and storage capabilities and enable machine learning operations, distributed data collection and processing. Through a special repository for RApps, the platform will support knowledge sharing among robots in order to provide personalized applications based on adaptation to individuals. The use of a common API will facilitate the development of improved applications deployable for a variety of robots. These applications target people with different needs, capabilities and expectations, while at the same time respect their privacy and autonomy. The RAPP approach can lower the cost of robotic applications development and it is expected to have a profound effect in the robotics market.
Keywordsrobotics elderly inclusion assisted living cloud robotics
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