Personal Assistance for Mobility and Manipulation (2011-2013)
ict-PAMM is an ICT-ASIA project accepted in 2011 for 2 years. It is funded by the French Ministery of Foreign Affair and INRIA. Coordinator of the project is Anne Spalanzani from UPMF University and INRIA Co-coodinator is Philippe Martinet from Blaise Pascal Institute.
This project aims at conducting common research activities in the areas of robotic mobile service and robotic assistance of human in different contexts of human life. Most countries are becoming to be aged societies, and the percentage of people with special needs is already significant and due to grow. In developed countries, 12% of people were older than 60 in 1950, 19% in 1998 and should be 28% in 2025.
The integral assistance systems are robotic modules and technological aids in general for personal assistance, such as robots, mobile bases, electric wheelchairs, soft robot manipulator arm. They can support disable and elderly people with special needs in their living environment.
Intelligent Service Robotics cover a broad spectrum of research axis, from intelligent robots acting as a servant, secretary, or companion to intelligent robotic functions such as autonomous wheelchair navigation, embedded robotics, ambient intelligence, or intelligent space. Some international industrials already think that smart houses or smart buildings (with sensors, actuators and computer capabilities) could be already considered as “static robots”: in these cases, adding a mobile robot inside the house or the building could add “mobility capabilities” to the whole system.
Many applications can be listed such as : Cleaning & Housekeeping, Edutainment, Humanoids, Inspection, Surveillance, Medical Applications, Construction, Guides & Office, Fire Fighters, Food Industry, Search & Rescue, Lawn Mowers …
In 2008, the unit sales of professional service robot units increased by 33%. Between 2009 and 2012 almost 50,000 units of professional service robots will be sold, mainly military and surveillance robots, logistic systems, medical robots and milking robots. Millions of domestic/personal robots were already on the market world-wide. Between 2009 and 2012 millions of vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and entertainment robots will conquer the world (http://www.worldrobotics.org/). And for the future ?… “A robot in every home” as said in 2007 Bill Gates the leader of the PC revolution predicting that the next hot field will be robotics (in an article in Scientific American magazine).
Since 20 or 30 years, if we believe the forecasts of the IFR Statistical Department, robots and robotics technologies will be spread in all the environment, personal or professional, to assist many everyday life activities.
This project will focus on the assistance of human in terms of its mobility, its social interaction, as well as its everyday chores that are especially pertinent to the elderly. As the elderly population grows rather rapidly, thank to the advancement in medical and health care capabilities, providing them with higher quality of, yet economically viable, personal care becomes of an utmost importance both socially and economically.
French partners are INRIA-emotion from Grenoble, INRIA-IMARA from Rocquencourt and Institut Blaise Pascal from Clermont-Ferrand. Asian Partners are IRA-Lab from Taiwan, ISRC-SKKU from Suwon in Korea, ITS-Lab from Kumamoto in Japan and Mica Institute from Hanoi in Vietnam.