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Researchers from Aristos Campus Mundus work to put robots at the service of people with disabilities


“We want to implement a new way of working that involves both people with disabilities and the professionals working with them”, Ana Berástegui, Director of the Chair in Family and Disability:Teléfonica- Repsol-Down Madrid Foundation, said. This workshop has been organised by the Chair and the Institute for Research (IIT) , as part of the Aristos Campus Mundus campus of international excellence.

Álvaro Sánchez Miralles, IIT researcher, explained that the university is trying to open up a new work focus in this area, improving the technical part and interaction between users and technological applications.  The application in question enables communication and interaction between the user, the robot, a mobile device and the therapist.  

The next steps in this research, although still at an initial stage, are to determine the stakeholders, create specific activities for each of these groups, recruit patients and make an initial assessment.  This will help to create a database that can be used to assess the whole process and reach conclusions.

The aim of this workshop was to discuss the applications of low-cost robots to serve these groups of people and, particularly, to facilitate contact between the potential users of this technology and the professionals working with them, and the researchers responsible for their development at the Universities of Deusto, Comillas and Ramon Llull.  

Sánchez Miralles, Estefanía Zulaica and Zhiyin Lou, from IIT, presented the application they are developing; Begoña García Zapirain and Leire López, from Deusto, gave a demonstration of the robot they use to accompany people over 65 in their therapies, and Alex Barco, from Ramon Llull, briefly outlined  the findings in working with children who have suffered head injuries.   

Then, researchers and potential users worked in groups on various robotic applications in the field of disability. 

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