BGER: Helping hands for the elderly: new methods and devices to improve quality of life through tactile interactions

Activity: Examination typesExternal Examination and Supervision


This project investigates and develops new methods and devices to assist the elderly and infirm through tactile interactions. As people age their senses degrade and they lose confidence in everyday activities such as crossing the road. This is coincident with degradation in physical capabilities. To ensure continued quality of life we need new methods to maintain independence. These include sensory enhancements such as visual tools and navigation aids, new robotic assist devices and new medical devices. One crucial area of research that is being developed at Bristol is the field of tactile interactions. These include the interactions of robots and humans through soft tactile sensors and the substitution of one sense for another, for example that of vision with touch. At the same time the aging population in Japan has forced Japanese research endeavours into understanding and managing the aging process. This is exemplified by the establishment of the new International Healthology Research Center in Kobe University and the Sensory Systems Laboratory at the Human-Interactive Robot Research Centre in RIKEN, Japan. This international project establishes a three-way collaboration between Dr Rossiter (Bristol), Prof Luo (Kobe) and Dr Mukai (Riken) to investigate how two-way tactile interaction can be used to assist the elderly.
Period1 Jun 201231 Mar 2013