RAS Robot Lives in Smart Home, Cares for Elderly

Are you wondering why robots are gaining prominence in different aspects of our lives? If so, you need to understand that robots are slowly becoming an integral part of our lives by performing useful tasks. Various forms of robots help us in many ways, and they can also be a necessity.

For instance, there are different types of robots for cleaning floors. Your choice depends on the kind of surface that you want to clean. If you’re going to make your life easy, you can search for the various smart devices for the home. Each robot has a distinctive design as well as purpose.

In most cases, we buy robots due to their functionality and the robotics industry is continually evolving. Likewise, the RAS robot is another new type of robot designed to care for the elderly. Washington State University developed this robot, and it lives in a smart home to offer care services to the elderly.

RAS: What Is It?

RAS is a nickname for a robot that researchers believe can help people with dementia to live independently in their homes. Also called the Robot Activity Support System, RAS robot can also help individuals with other mental challenges to continue living alone in homes.

The scientists from Washington State University created the robot with the aim of helping the elderly with limitations to live independently. Like any other robot, RAS can make life easier for the elderly especially if they want to live alone in their homes.

It is undoubtedly true that when people age, they experience specific limitations that can affect their reaction to different things. For instance, elderly adults often experience problems such as forgetfulness, and they can act slowly as well. However, with assistance, they can still perform different things on their own. As such, RAS is designed to act as a personal assistant to the elderly.

RAS asking if girl needs help

Credit: WSU Smart Apartment in Pullman

How RAS Functions?

RAS uses sensors in the smart home to determine the location of its residents within the house. It also identifies what the residents are doing at a given period. The Smart Home can also specify the time when the elderly adults in particular need assistance with some of their daily activities.

The robot also uses its sensors to navigate around obstacles and through the rooms to find the people. RAS uses a combination of a mobile robot together with detection technology to assist the residents within the home. When it detects the need for assistance, the WSU smart home intervenes within a moment.

RAS robot operates by providing video instructions to the older adult involved about how to do simple tasks. The robot can also lead the person involved in items like their medication. When RAS determines that the subject needs to take medication, it leads them to where the medicine is.

The robot can also determine if the adult needs some food and then it can lead the way to the kitchen. With this kind of technology, the elderly adult can feel as if everything is normal. The smart technology can also provide the elderly with the company they need in their homes.

senior preparing food

Responsive Technology

According to Bryan Minor, the WSU smart home is responsive, and it acts just like a human being. Minor is a researcher at the WSU School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. During the last decade, Schmitter-Edgecombe, a psychology professor at WSU led CASAS researchers in the development of smart home technologies.

The technology helps the elderly adults with memory challenges as well as other limitations to live independently. Typically, the elderly need assistance and RAS is the first robot that acts as a personal assistant to the elderly. It uses artificial intelligence to behave more like a human being.

RAS could make life easier for the group of the elderly just like any other robot in different sectors. The older adults who struggle to live independently can find some comfort and relief from this new robot system that can communicate with them.

The RAS robot is preprogrammed to determine if a person does what he is supposed to do at a given period. When it notices that he is struggling to perform the task, it uses its mapping and navigation camera to find them. The navigation technology is similar to that on other robots like iRoomba. It helps the robot to avoid obstacles, and it can map its way using a camera and sensors.

The robot also uses sensors together with software to locate the person and offer assistance. The new technology can also help people with dementia to get round the clock observation. The robot can help them get what they want at any time.

What Are The Benefits Of RAS Robot?

About 50 percent of older adults above 85 years currently need assistance with a variety of daily tasks. Some of these tasks include the preparation of meals as well as taking medication. The annual cost of support required by the elderly is about $2 trillion in the US.

The other aspect is that about 90 percent of the older adults in the US prefer to age in their homes. The majority of people who belong to this group do not want to move into nursing homes. In nursing homes, elderly adults get assistance from caregivers, but they do not wish to live in the environment.

Regardless of age, elderly adults can still make choices about where to live. Therefore, this is when RAS technology comes in handy to help people in this group to live independently. Some of them often experience mental challenges and the new technology can help them live on their own.

The number of older adults above 85 is anticipated to triple by 2050 and technology like RAS can play a pivotal role. It can help to alleviate some of the financial burdens on the healthcare systems. RAS technology can also help to fulfill the needs of older adults by making it easier for them to live alone.

However, the technology works perfectly well on people who are still able to walk independently. The robot technology may fail to achieve the desired goals on elderly adults who are bedridden and cannot perform many tasks on their own.

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