Health care systems are faced with huge problems due to an increasing average age of the population. This trend, which is supposed to continue over the next coming decades, increases the difficulty to keep providing medical care at present day standards. And with regard to the care of the elderly in daily life situations, there is a fierce shortage of skilled care professionals, due to educational and financial strains.
Bobbie Robotics foresees that the recent advances in robotics and mechatronics will make it possible it the very near future to develop personal robotic versions of so-called assistance dogs. All the necessary technology already exists; however, it needs to be joined with an economically viable industry. The mission of the Bobbie project is to set up a Dutch industry with the capability, both technologically and financially, to develop these care assistance robots.
The idea of the project is to design a robot system, using standardized architectures, that can deal with care situations in the same way a person would function. Just like the standardization of PC systems made the computer affordable for every household through time, it is also thought that designing standards for personal robots will do the same for the robot market.
The recent developments in the Dutch Robotics industry give Bobbie Robotics the indication that it is definitely possible to develop a care product in a commercially viable market. A working prototype will be presented as an end result.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the Dutch ministry of Economic affairs.