Robbie the Robot watches TV soap opera to learn about dementia

Robbie the Robot, designed by Dr Ardhendu Behera and his students at Edge Hill University in Lancashire, has spent the last weeks watching soap opera Emmerdale.

He is learning to recognize facial expressions, and body language in order to spot symptoms of dementia such as depression or aggressive behavior, before playing music or performing other ‘calming’ techniques.

Dementia is associated with loss of memory but can also cause changes to someone’s behavior, difficulty performing simple tasks, struggling with language, and avoiding socializing.

According to Dr Behera: “Currently the only way to monitor and manage dementia is by direct observation which is labour intensive, time consuming and can be costly from a care perspective.”

Robbie is shaped like a human and uses artificial intelligence. He can be used as a companion for people of all ages.

Robbie the Robot is going to be part of another project where he is going to watch ‘Friends’, in order to learn about interactions and activities.

Video & photos courtesy: Edge Hill University and Dr. Ardhendu Behera, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science