Vaasa Welfare Technology Ecosystem are testing the social humanoid robot Pepper, in the lights of the coronavirus

21 September 2020
Project members Susanne Hägglund, Linda Nyholm, Melanie Rydgren of Åbo Akademi University and Dennis Bengs of Novia University of Applied Sciences are testing a design on an innovative way to employ the social humanoid robot Pepper, in response to the coronavirus

In COVID19-times, it’s a risky and vulnerable task for a human being to screen patients and relatives coming for a visit to a care facility. In order to protect the human being from the coronavirus, scenarios where the robot Pepper is the first agent one meets when enrolling for a care meeting are designed and tested together with stakeholders in healthcare in the Vaasa region. 

Within the InnoCare project, Åbo Akademi University and Novia University of Applied Science are currently exploring the trustworthiness of the robot application together with caregivers in the Vaasa region, both online and in co-located robot-human interactions. The robot estimates the likelihood of covid19-disease of the human being, based on the human being’s own judgement, and advices how to proceed and enter the building, in accordance with up-to-date recommendations. The study of the potential of this kind of robot assisted care communication has been awarded with a great deal of interest, among patients and care givers, Linda Nyholm and Susanne Hägglund of Åbo Akademi University confirm.

The work is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Regional Council of Ostrobothnia. 

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