This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme - Societal Challenge 1 (DG CONNECT/H) under grant agreement No 643647 


The objectives

Below the main objectives of the GrowMeUp project are provided. All of these objectives will be achieved during the lifetime of the project. The consistency of those objectives with the expected impact and exploitation GrowMeUp outcomes is also stated. The exploitable outcomes are associated with specific deliverables that will be produced by the different work packages of the project.

Obj. 1: Stimulate and motivate the older persons to sustain or/and increase their activity in carrying out their daily activities at home through an affordable service robot, the GrowMeUp robot, that is able to enhance and adapt its daily activities support skills and competencies, compensating thus for the older persons capabilities degradation, over the ageing process.

One of the main characteristics of older persons suffering from light cognitive and physical problems and living along at home, is that the speed and nature of the degradation of their cognitive and functional capabilities cannot be totally predicted a front. Such capabilities degradations are influencing their ability and behaviour in carrying out their daily activities at home. The support given to them yesterday needs to be adjusted or modified to accommodate their daily activity needs of today. The main aim of this objective is to stimulate and motivate the older persons to remain longer active at home by providing a robotic system, the GrowMeUp robot, that attends the older persons’ individual daily activities, and adapts to their changing needs and preferences, related to their capabilities degradations, over time, and provide appropriate adapted and enhanced personalized services support.

The GrowMeUp robot will be able to enhance its care support competencies, by enhancing its knowledge, for example through social interaction, and by also observing the older persons behaviour over time in their home environment. It will make use of different machine learning mechanisms. Those mechanisms include: i) active interaction (i.e. human-robot dialoguing/demonstration of objects; ii) observation by the robot of the behaviour changes of the older person over time; iii) sharing and distributing knowledge among other robots by exploiting cloud computing technologies. Cloud computing offers unprecedented opportunities of robot learning by allowing robots to create and collaboratively update shared knowledge repositories. GrowMeUp will develop and host in a shared cloud storage infrastructure, a knowledge base offering a simple and powerful way over time robot knowledge learning.

Obj. 2: Enhance the engagement and satisfaction of the older person in using the GrowMeUp robot by providing a natural and intuitive way to interact with the system

The satisfaction of the older person in using the system will be increased through the provision of intelligent dialoguing that will make the system more engaging to the older persons to interact with. The system will be able to hold multiple interactions and build emotional attachments with the older person in the same way humans do. The system will remember and learn, for example, previous interactions and use this knowledge in future conversations. Moreover, the engagement with the older person while carrying out daily activities will be increased by the robot’s ability to perceive and combine different contextual information of the older persons, such as their emotional state,behaviour and preferences.

Understanding what older persons say by voice is one key aspect in the interaction abilities with the system. However, most acoustic models fail to cope with the specificities of older persons’ speech. Therefore, in GrowMeUp acoustic models will be trained to be language and age specific, by using real dialogues recorded from each of the end-users organization increasing thus substantially the engagement of the older persons in using the system.

Obj. 3: Improve quality of life and prolong autonomy of the older person

The main aim of this objective is to impact highly the quality of life and prolonging autonomy of the older person at home over the ageing process by providing a set of interoperable software services, but also enabling the update of those services, and the acquiring of new needed services, to cover the current and daily activities needs and preferences of an older person at home over the ageing process.Those services will cover the needs of the older person in the categories of Care & Wellness, Guidance, and Education & Leisure. The level of services to be provided will respect the personalized needs and preferences of the older person over the ageing process. Initially a minimum set of services will be provided by the GrowMu robot that will be increased to cover older persons’ capability degradations.

The introduction of the system early enough in the life of the older persons (65+) providing initially for minimum essential daily activities support that will be increased and enhanced to cover age related capabilities degradation over time will also allow for early increase of motivation and positive interest of the older persons to have the system early enough in their life, preventing thus earlydegradation of skills and capabilities, and as a consequence prolong their autonomy in carrying out daily activities at home.

Obj. 4: Provide benefits on the social level of the older person and also improve the integrated care processes for older persons care at home

This objective aims to provide improvement in the integrated care processes for older persons care at home. Nowadays, the predominant model of support for older persons living alone at home is provided mainly by informal carers and includes mainly non-continuous assistance in enabling and sustaining management of activities of daily life. Through the use of a collaborative care network
(CoRobo-Net) continuous collaboration, intelligent sharing of information and communication between the older person and formal/informal carers, of all type of generations, will be enabled resulting in more effective care provision through improvement of the older’s person social level.Based on that it is expected that GrowMeUp will improve highly the efficiency and continuity of
integrate care provision to the older person resulting thus in reduction of demand of care resources and of the burden of care by the informal caregivers. The quality of life of the carers will be thus improved.

Obj. 5: Achieve high usefulness of the system for the user through pilots and related evaluation and assessment

The main aim of this objective is to prove high usefulness of the system for the user through the carrying of two pilots and related evaluation and assessment. Two realistic environmental settings will be considered through the operation and evaluation of two pilots in the Netherlands and Portugal. Both pilots will involve older persons who fulfil the GrowMeUp target group requirements.