Member institutions of the APPROCHE Association and, firstly, the Fondation Hospitalière Sainte Marie, are seeking to commence the validation of the companion robot principle without delay with subjects spending time in medical institutions (residential type facilities for the elderly, after-care and rehabilitation departments, day hospitals).
The Nao robot, which is now available, will be used to conduct these initial trials. With Aldebaran, the Foundation will develop companion robot behaviour ensuring that the robot will be able to move about in a few rooms or living areas, detect the subjects encountered, recognise them or get to know them.
Using minimum dialogue, the robot will be able to make a conversation adapted to the subject encountered (according to each individual's areas of interest, talking about the weather, sports results, family, health, etc.). The robot may also be used as an intermediary to request assistance from health care staff, either by sending e-mails to a specific address, or by recording patient requests in order to play them back when meeting the party in question.
An initial report on these trials will be issued with suggestions in respect of the development of ROMEO 2.