Intelligent house or intelligent robot

> Just been to the Kadina web site. I see you are interested

>> in privately developing hardware/software solutions for >> independent living for the elderly and disabled. > >> This should be a real growth area in our aging population, >> at least Japan thinks so. > > >> I visited a relative in aged care who is still youngish >> but suffered a stroke. If only he had a robot he could >> command to look after his needs, for the understaffed >> home for the aged cater to their needs first. I couldn't >> get anyone interested in his plight. > > >> Robots might not have feelings but they could turn out >> to be the best friend you have. > > > > ...

Matthew Smith wrote:

> Just to explain myself a little... > > > The concept that John found on my site goes beyond a > single robotic entity that can scoot around after > someone and "lend a hand". In fact, a mobile robot > is actually an optional (but too fun and interesting > to ignore!) part of the project. > > > The core of the idea is home (or office) automation, > but rather than being aimed at people who may be > gadget freaks (or just plain lazy), the automation I > have in mind is intended to push someone who is not > quite capable of independent living, back into a > self-sufficient way of life. > > > Inputs could include: > * Client position tracking (what room are they in? > have they fallen over in the shower?) - could be > achieved with standard security hardware (PIRs, > door beams, pressure mats, LAN cameras) * Room > temperature * Weather (get HVAC* running BEFORE it > gets too cold/hot inside, get washing in if raining, > don't bother watering garden, etc) * Sensors on any > dangerous equipment (cookers, toasters, heaters > [temperature as well as CO for gas-fired equipment]) > * Personal alarm - this could be the traditional > radio pendant or even microphones in all rooms > feeding into speech recognition software; voice > control could also be associated with lighting, > HVAC, etc. * Monitoring for problems in bath/shower > /toilet > > * Smoke detectors > * Soil humidity (for irrigation) > * Pump monitoring (if not on mains water; also shower and >

circulating pumps)

> > Outputs: > * HVAC > * Shut-off of dangerous equipment mentioned above > * Lighting > * Electric door strikes > * Bath hoists > * Audible/visible alarms > * Pumps > * Fire-fighting > * Irrigation > > > Network: > * DSL connection to monitoring centre via Internet/VPN; > dial-up modem as backup > * Internet -> SMS messaging to notify family/friends of >

non-critical alerts

> > Essential Movies ;-) > * Demon Seed > * 2001 A Space Odyssey > > > I've got some of the environmental monitoring working > and have other bits under construction. (See weather > page on my personal site) Irrigation partly done, pumps > about to be put under "intelligent" control. About to > put together a light barrier that determines direction > of travel - handy for client tracking. > > > My reason for joining this newsgroup is looking for > inspiration/assistance in putting something mobile > together, my first mobile project being a wheelbarrow > /mobile platform that can assist in fetching firewood > from the log pile and move the laundry basket around > as one hangs out the washing. > > Phase II would be an indoor model (drone or scutter, > depending on ones choice of viewing); although I can > see various assistance roles that could be performed > for disabled/elderly, I have to confess that I just > want something that will carry my beer fermenters to > /from kitchen and laundry, saving my back and > preventing sloshing!

Why not pipe it?

There comes a point when the cost of a lot of special purpose machines in an intelligent house will equal the cost of a general purpose robot. A general purpose robot would adapt to each house and its set of special purpose appliances and physical layouts.

A general purpose robot could do all the things you mention above. The cost of an "intelligent" house is high. A flexible robot could configure into a bath (or bed) hoist. It could monitor smoke, temperature and monitoring people, animals, etc can be done by cheap (less than $30) web cams with intelligent software.

- John Casey

> * HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning > > >
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I still prefer the distributed approach - a set of independent devices that can communicate with each other and still function even if the master controller (I use a redundant second controller since it's also my main office server) should fail.

Although a single machine which could "shadow" the client throughout the day may be versatile enough to cater for every need, it will never have the resilience of a distributed system.

Two different approaches - I'm sure that we could find examples of both in nature.

John - just out of interest, how would you address the resilience issue?

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Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith wrote:

So you want me to get real :)

A general purpose robot is perhaps as unlikely as the "helicopter in every garage" prediction made in the 1950's for the homes beyond 2000. What is theoretically possible may not happen for reasons not considered. The home robot may be limited to carpet sweeping drones or novelty waiters serving drinks.

The technology already exists for an intelligent home to monitor the residences needs. It is really only a matter of how cost effective it is in terms of health care.

Resilience perhaps could be greatly enhanced by a combination of land line, cable and mobile phone connections to an internet service. Each home system could be monitored and immediate action take place if they failed to report in.

An intelligent companion doesn't need to have a mobile body. In fact a virtual friend is perhaps more feasible in the near future to provide a friendly non judgmental companion to talk to if the old person is feeling lonely? Or perhaps a furry version of the Sony robot dog that is sensitive to the owners emotional needs?

As for physical needs such as getting out of a bath, off the toilet, out of bed and so on the problem there is cost. The solution is usually limited to hand rails. There are chairs that can tip the person into the standing position and beds that change shape but they all cost money.

I have always considered the showers could be improved. Just stand there while you go through a soap cycle, rinse cycle, dry cycle just like a car wash, water from every direction as old people may have limited movement.

Had the same idea while changing nappies. Put the baby waist deep in a wash machine that dissolves the nappy and goes through the soap, rinse, dry, powder cycle. Lift baby out, job done :)

Nature never meant us to grow old. We all have a different built in life span which for most of us men is early 70's. Modern medicine means we can all linger on beyond our allotted time.

Perhaps one day there will be biological solution to old age so elderly care will cease to be an issue.

- John

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What fun to be on the beta test team for!

Step two, in untangling your infant's dangly bits from the maceration roller. Using the large pliers, back the roller up slowly turning counterclockwise about half a turn..

The Eskimos had that, but it wouldn't be popular today.

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Dave VanHorn

Dave VanHorn wrote:

There wouldn't be any roller of course! I was thinking more like a spa bath with moving or pulsating water jets.

Not with those over 70 anyway :)

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