HOBBIT – The Mutual Care Robot

HobbitEnd of May I joined the review meeting for the HOBBIT project in Brussels. HOBBIT is an EU-project, which is coordinated by ACIN and which started in Nov 2011.The goal of the project is to develop a socially assistive robot that helps seniors and old people at home (have a look here for details http://hobbit.acin.tuwien.ac.at/). The interesting aspect is that my colleagues Andreas Huber and Lara Lammer developed together with Markus Vincze the Mutual Care interaction concept, which aims at establishing a higher social acceptance of the robot and bonding towards the robot. The idea is if the robot does not only support the senior, but the senior als has to take care for the robot a better helper/helpee relationship can be established wich fosters HRI.

At the review results from the first lab trials were presented which were supportive for the Mutual Care concept. The next step is to prepare field trials to explore the concept for long-term – this will be really exciting!