|12 December 2016|

USA

A new robot built to support elderly citizens and their caregivers has been developed through a pioneering collaboration between IBM and Rice University.

The prototype IBM Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant (IBM MERA) done in collaboration with Rice University  is a first of a kind Watson-enabled application. It will be used to help study innovative ways of measuring an individual’s vital signs, such as heart rate, heart rate variability and respiratory rate; answer basic health-related questions; and, determine if an individual has fallen by reading the results of an accelerometer.

“Now is the time to invest in, care for, protect, and empower our aging population so they can live more independent lives,” said Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research. “Our new research on ‘embodied cognition,’ which can combine real-time data generated by sensors with cognitive computing, will explore how to provide clinicians and caregivers with insights that could help them make better care decisions for their patients.”

Rice Provost Marie Lynn Miranda added: “The Multi-Purpose Eldercare Robot Assistant represents the powerful impact that results when leaders in academia and private industry bring their best to bear on pressing societal issues. We are delighted to work with IBM on this critical research project, which provides an opportunity for our students and faculty to collaborate with IBM’s best Age and Ability researchers at the IBM Research Lab in Austin.”