Virtual innovation platform in service robotics (PalRob)

08.06.2018

The aim of the PalRob project was to develop an open and virtual service robotics innovation platform and to assess the functionality of the platform. The project included seven service robotics experiments in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. The experiments included services for children, young people, adults and the elderly such as storycrafting, learning the Finnish language for immigrants, robot programming for children in comprehensive school, library service guidance and activating and assisting the elderly.

The project tested utilising the Robot Operating System ROS and GitHub in the development of service robotics software applications. In addition, various robot applications were tested in laboratories and authentic user environments.

In Tampere, the need for robotics was surveyed from the nursing staff at Hatanpää hospital and the Yumi robot’s capabilities of opening wound dressing packages was tested. In addition, the City of Tampere home care services and services for the elderly surveyed the need for robotics in home care and providing services for the elderly.

The PalRob project’s results and observations

  • The PalRob project helped generate an operating model for the development of service robotics innovations and a virtual service robotics innovation platform palvelurobotiikka.fi
  • According to the survey conducted in Hatanpää hospital, nurses felt that robotics could help in work that included moving materials and inassistive work. Robots were not considered to be particularly useful in patient work.
  • The nursing staff felt that robots made their work easier and more meaningful.
  • The project also revealed that several social welfare and health care organisations are interested in using robots, but there are few active service robotics developers. The majority of IT companies invest in industrial automation and online software development.
  • The suppliers of robot applications should be familiar with the social welfare and health care sector and the related work tasks. Patient safety and data security are also issues that should be taken into account.
  • Software robotics and software solutions related to data management and artificial intelligence are also required in the social welfare and health care sector.
  • The PalRob project has led to the Creating new possibilities for wellbeing through ICT (CreICT) project, funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Asia programme, which organises hackathons to create new social welfare and health care innovations in the Finnish and Japanese markets. The results of the PalRob project are also used in the Six Cities’ ROBOREEL project, starting in spring 2018.

Publication: A Need for Service Robots Among Health Care Professionals in Hospitals and Housing

Services Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Service Robotics

The goals of the Virtual innovation platform in service robotics project were to develop an open and virtual service robotics innovation platform and to test the innovation platform and robot applications in laboratories and authentic user environments. The project was carried out between 1 September 2016 and 31 December 2017 and its budget was EUR 314,808. Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences participated in the PalRob project.

Further information:

Kimmo Vänni
Development Manager
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
kimmo.vanni(at)tamk.fi

Päivi Haho
Principal Lecturer
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
paivi.haho(at)metropolia.fi

Timo Tuominen
Lecturer
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
timo.tuominen(at)metropolia.fi

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