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Research Seminar 11/7/16: Experiences from Introducing a Robot into a Geriatric Long Term Care Environment

SoCS Research Seminar

Caregiver 4.0 – Experiences from Introducing a Robot into a Geriatric Long Term Care Environment


Time: Monday, 11/7/16, 2pm

Place: MC0020


henry-at-aafIn my talk, I would like to give an overview of our scientific work that we conduct within the STRANDS-project, where the School of Computer Science of the University of Lincoln is also part of.

Due to demographic changes that lead to an ageing society, a shortage of care provision is anticipated. As a probable solution technical aids for enhancing independent living of older adults and for supporting staff in the elder care sector are proposed. But technical aids often lack required autonomy and were so far primarily tested in lab situations. Thus, the STRANDS –project came to live with the aim to develop a long-term autonomous learning robotic system that can be actually deployed in elder care and in other work environments under “real-world conditions” over longer periods of time.

Besides the technical challenges associated with such an endeavour, different questions were raised:  What does staff in the elder care sector require from a robotic aid? In what areas could we deploy our STRANDS-robot in real world conditions? How would older adults and care staff experience interacting or working with the robot? What ethical guidelines have to be met when introducing a robotic aid in such an environment? And what could the future with such robotic aids look like in elder care? Questions that will be addressed in this presentation.



Denise Hebesberger
Denise Hebesberger, AAF, Vienna

Denise Hebesberger studied Biology (grad. 2013) and Educational Science (grad. 2012) at the University of Vienna. After graduation and working in different fields of science, she joined the Academy for Research on Ageing as a project manager in 2014. The Academy is social science partner within different EU-wide research consortia that develop technical aids and assistive systems for older adults or for the care sector and study their impact in terms of social acceptance and human-robot interaction on end users. She is responsible for establishing theoretical frameworks, evaluation designs and data analysis (mixed methods designs & structural equation modelling), as well as dissemination of research results and scientific publications.

Postdoc to give a talk at a world-leading AI lab in America

A School of Computer Science STRANDS postdoc has been invited to give a presentation at a world-leading Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the USA.

Dr Tomas Krajnik, in L-CAS will give a talk next week at MIT: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, USA on ‘FreMEn: Frequency Map Enhancement for Long-Term Autonomy of Mobile Robots’.

Tom is a research fellow at the Lincoln Center of Autonomous Systems. He has a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence and Biocybernetics from the Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic, in 2012. His research interests include long-term autonomy, robot vision and aerial robotics.

This is an amazing opportunity for him to present the work of the STRANDS project to an American audience and we will keep you informed on how the talk goes.


While robotic mapping of static environments has been widely studied,life-long mapping in non-stationary environments is still an open problem. We present an approach for long-term representation of natural environments, where many of the observed changes are caused by pseudo-periodic factors, such as seasonal variations, or humans performing their daily chores.

Rather than using a fixed probability value, our method models the uncertainty of the elementary environment states by their frequency spectra. This allows to integrate sparse and irregular observations obtained during long-term deployments of mobile robots into memory-efficient models that reflect the recurring patterns of activity in the environment.

The frequency-enhanced spatio-temporal models allow to predict the future environment states, which improves the efficiency of mobile robot operation in changing environments. In a series of
experiments performed over periods of weeks to years, we demonstrate that the proposed approach improves mobile robot localization, path and task planning, activity recognition and allows for life-long spatio-temporal exploration.


Robotics project highlighted as one of the best in Europe

The European Commission has named the STRANDS robotics project as one of the best, as part of EU Robotics Week.

Lincoln’s robot Linda has been taking part in a robot marathon this week, squaring off against robot partners in Leeds, Birmingham,  Sweden, Germany and Austria.

The robots have been battling it out to be the last one standing – the challenge is for them to autonomously patrol a populated environment for as long as possible, covering the most distance in the shortest time.

Linda is currently in the lead on best distance travelled. Go Linda!

STRANDS is an EU-funded project enabling robots to achieve robust and intelligent behaviour in human environments.
The robots will be evaluated in a care home for the elderly in Austria (assisting human carers), and in an office environment patrolled by G4S Technology security firm.

Follow the final stages of Linda’s progress in the robot marathon at http://strands.acin.tuwien.ac.at/marathon.html

Robot marathon

From November 25 to November 29, the six robots from the EU STRANDS project will battle it out for the title of last robot standing in the STRANDS Robot Marathon.

The challenge is to autonomously patrol a populated environment for as long as possible, with the aim to cover the most distance in the shortest time possible.

This will push the state-of-the-art technology in terms of autonomous, intelligent robot behaviour in human environments, paving the way for a new generation of autonomous service robots.

The STRANDS Robot Marathon will feature live feeds from robots, information about all the participants, and information on the underlying science and technology challenges this work presents.

You can follow the University of Lincoln’s robot ‘Linda’ live online at http://lcas.lincoln.ac.uk/linda/linda.html in the coming week when Linda will try to run autonomously for as long as possible. Linda is based in the new Robotics lab at Witham Wharf.

The Lincolnshire Echo was there for the start of the marathon http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/Linda-Lincoln-robot-competes-European-endurance/story-20171885-detail/story.html#axzz2lfHcwZmv

More information can be found at http://lcas.lincoln.ac.uk/linda and http://robots.lincoln.ac.uk/linda-participating-in-the-eurobotics-week/

Also, follow (and retweet) @LindaStrands and search for  #RobotMarathon on Twitter to stay up to date and share the excitement.

For full details of the STRANDS project go to http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2013/08/756.asp