• Austria's news in English

Helpful robot keeps an eye on the elderly

Staff reporter · 22 May 2014, 16:27

Published: 22 May 2014 16:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Vienna's University of Technology (TU Wien), together with the House of Mercy hospital, has introduced the latest technical development in the field of robotics for elderly care.

The robot, dubbed Henry, has a built-in capability to independently learn about its environment, and if something unusual is found, to summon human help.  

Dr. Michael Zillich from the Institute of Automation and Control Engineering at the TU explained how they are partnering with the House of Mercy hospital to test out the suitability of the robotic system in a nursing home environment.

The mobile robot is designed to navigate through the hospital, scanning with its cameras, and to learn to categorize and identify objects. It then compares what it sees with what it has already learned, and looks for changes.

For example, it has the ability to spot something as extreme as a person lying unconscious on the floor, or something as apparently innocuous as a door remaining open when it's normally closed.

Story continues below…

"The collaboration aims to produce practical robots in the next few years," Dr Zillich said.

The cooperation of TU Vienna and the House of Mercy is part of the EU project STRANDS - Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios, under the direction of Dr. Nick Hawes at the University of Birmingham. 

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available