The KSERA robotics project, short for Knowledgeable Service Robots for Aging, is a research project about service robots for the elderly. The main goal of this project is to develop a Socially Assistive Robot (SAR) that can help the elderly in their daily lives with their routines and their illness management. This particular project has a primary focus on people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a disease that makes it hard for people to breathe. Since it is a progressive disease, it gets progressively worse over time.
The industrialized world is going through a period of an ever growing aging population (>60 years). This issue, which is already really evident in most European countries with the baby boom generation reaching the retirement age, is causing a large strain on the healthcare situation in those countries.
The demand for healthcare vastly outweighs the supply of affordable, skilled care-givers and this problem will continue to grow for the coming decades if no new technologies arise. The World Health organization stated that it is very likely that in 20 years COPD will be the third major cause of death. This, together with the aging population, validates the KSERA project’s goals.
It is thought by the research team that assistive technology can monitor the physical conditions of patients, and can warn, advise and support the patients in situations which normally require human help, in their homes or even hospitalization. A key in the success of this project is the possible combination of creating a helpful assisting robot, which will also be socially acceptable and welcome in a home setting.