Human Interactive Robotics for Healthcare (HIRo)

The Human Interactive Robotics for Healthcare (HIRo) project proposes a new concept for improving healthcare and homecare services through the integration of a humanoid robot (EVE). The goal is for the robot to support staff and patients in daily tasks such as transporting or handing over equipment needed for medical duties; helping patients finding their way in the consultation facilities; or aiding less autonomous patients to reach for objects or move around.

Our multidisciplinary team is uniquely suited for this work, including healthcare and homecare forerunners in hospital and municipal contexts, ground-breaking robot developers, and skilled human-machine interaction and safety researchers.

In this project we will work closely with health staff and patients to pinpoint the necessities, wishes, and expectations for interaction with a humanoid robot. Likewise, we will study potential adoption barriers or unwanted effects of the introduction of the robot in healthcare and homecare contexts. This work will be crucial for the development of useful and efficient robot platforms that are accepted by healthcare staff and patients.

In HIRo we will identify concrete contexts in healthcare and homecare where several types of tasks and applications of an advanced humanoid robot could be experimented and implemented. Our objective is to deliver an innovative solution to real challenges in day to day tasks. We will conduct interviews, meetings, workshops and discussions to better understand the needs, attitudes, and perception of the role of the robot. Later in the project we will conduct simulation and real-world tests where the staff and patients will cooperate with the robot. This will allow us to study for instance, how the robot’s communication can impact humans’ perception of friendliness and trustworthiness; or the staff’s and patients’ perception of the robot’s intentions and willingness to collaborate.