About robots, robot development
and those who make it happen


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    Acceptable robotiCs COMPanions for AgeiNg Years, or ACCOMPANY is a robotics project set to change the lives of many elderly people for the better. Under the co-ordination of Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian of the University of Hertfordshire, the initial research project was funded to the amount of £3.6 million ($5.5 million) by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

    The project involves the adaptation of the Care-O-bot 3 from Fraunhofer IPA to a caring and emotionally stimulating social robot for the elderly. It is a collaboration of various personnel and resources from research facillities across Europe and Great Britain.

    Aims and Objectives

    As the community ages as a whole, with medical advances meaning that people have an ever increasing life expectancy, the dilemma of how to enable the elderly to live an independent life for as long as possible is an important one.

    ACCOMPANY aims to use the robotic technology that already exists in the Care-O-bot 3 to produce not just a care provision for those elderly people living alone, but also a companion.

    • Assistance with household tasks.
    • Reminders to take medication.
    • Interactive VDU that displays a happy face when things are going well and a concerned face when there is a problem.
    • Potential provision for advising relatives of problems.
    • Development of current technology to allow robot to recognise an individual’s personal space.


    The robotics software for some of the manual tasks is already available, in the shape of Care-O-bot 3, but the major part of the ACCOMPANY research was the examination of the interaction between robots and people in order to make the software more intuitive and empathetic.

    This research was to establish how the features that are available could be packaged in a way that was less daunting, more friendly and comforting to the elderly users who would benefit. These features include the ability for the robot to understand commands, complete tasks and track the user’s position within the home.

    The ACCOMPANY team filmed case studies in order to examine the full potential of the care product and how it could potentially allow an aging community to remain independent, making life better for them and reducing the financial strain on the state.

    Completion of research project and proposal for product

    Funding was originally provided for the three year research project which commenced in 2011 and reached completion in November 2014. This research has shown that the potential for adapting the Care-O-bot 3 into an independent living resource for the elderly exists. Any development will also benefit from the current independent development of Care-O-bot 4 which will have 2 arms instead of the current one, and will have a more acceptable and friendly appearance.

    The ACCOMPANY team is now preparing for the next phase, by completing a proposal for funding to bring research to bear in developing the product. Dr Amirabdollahian estimates that the final product should be available within the next ten years. 


    The consortium that tackles the technological as well as human-centred and ethical challenges of the project are:

  • Visit official website


  • Research:Artificial Intelligence
    Robot Learning
    Human-Robot interaction
  • Healthcare:Assistive


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