Lars Nyberg, professor of physiology at the Luleå University of Technology. Photo Erica Lång View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Robots entering elderly care

Published: 11 September 2014

Increased demands and the technical ability to use robots in the care for elderly is rising worldwide. Researchers at Luleå University operates in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oulu, Finland, and Umeå University in the project "Robots in the elderly. Why, when and for whom?"

- This is a fast growing and incredibly exciting field. To beneficial health and social care we want to take part of the progress, says Lars Nyberg, professor of fysiotherapy.

Since May, the project team worked in a pilot study and looked at how public opinion stands to use robots in elderly care. The result shows that expectations are contradictory. While there is a fundamentally skepticism, there is a curiosity and an interest.

- The feelings are ambivalent. Robots are needed in a certain extent, but with a human touch. The question is; What should a robot do and what must  a human do, says Lars Nyberg.

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The area has a huge business potential and a lot happens on the technical side, particularly in Korea and Japan. Lars says that in northern Sweden there is a lot of knowledge and research on what people need and think.
- The area is very technology-driven, and we look into how and to what robots can be used.

The pilot studiy was rounded up with a meeting with the project team and invited companies and municipalities to discuss thoughts and ideas. A appclication for additional funds has to be made futher work in the project.

The project group includes:
Lars Nyberg, Margareta Lilja, George Nikolakopoulos at Luleå University of Technology.
Esko Alasaarela and Kari Remes at Oulu University, Finland.
Olof Lindahl and Ronnie Lundström at Umeå University.

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