Robosoft's Robuter prototype
Robosoft’s Robuter prototype

French robotic specialist Robosoft has demonstrated a prototype service robot which can help elderly and handicapped people stay at home.

The robot, launched at Microsoft’s Innovation Day in Brussels at the end of 2007, is a home-centric robot, which combines the internet and robotics technology to provide daily-life services to people staying at home.

The aim of the robot is to show how service robots can help elderly and handicapped people by connecting to the internet, enabling social interaction, remote telemedicine, cognitive prosthesis and much more.

Robosoft has designed the robot to allow providers of services to customise it and offer various services to their customers.

The new robot uses the same technology as Estele, the remote tele-echography system already in operation in four French Hospitals.

Robosoft say its vision of a new kind of robot, called “robuters”, will help people in everyday life before 2011 – something it feels is now coming true thanks to recent advances in software for robots.

“We think that the usages are very different depending on the context,” said Vincent Dupourqué, CEO of Robosoft.

“That is why we have developed this new robuter as a modular system. Even if it comes with basic hardware and advanced robotic software functions, it can be customised and enhanced by developers and integrators willing to implement and deploy their own services to people staying at home,” he added.

This new prototype is already available for evaluation. It illustrates services that can be performed by robots at home: social interactions, remote telemedicine, cognitive prosthesis and domestic duties like cleaning.

By connecting to the robot via the internet, relatives are able to ‘visit’ grandma, find her in the apartment and chat. In the same way, physicians can remotely visit their patients who are at home.

This robuter is also able to monitor and record person and house’s activities, thanks to dedicated sensors, in order to make sure everything is fine.

The robot will also help to deal with sensitive issues, such as forgotten daily duties such as taking medications due to mental illness.

The robot is based on robuLAB10, an off-the-shelf mobile platform, and a robuBOX, the generic robotic middleware based on Microsoft Robotics Studio, that comes with every robot produced by Robosoft.