Portugal: Caritas Coimbra, experimental project. A robot to help old people

As part of a EU-funded international project, the diocesan Caritas of Coimbra decided to proactively take part in the experimental stage of a robot that can provide additional help to old people who are less self-sufficient in their everyday life. In presenting the initiative to the press, the coordinator of the “GrowMeUp” project stated that “the goal is to ease the launch of this technology in the market and in society, since taking care of old people will turn out to be one of the greatest needs in the future”. Totally made in Portugal, the android can look for people at home and can alert the staff at Caritas or family members in an emergency: “The robot can interact with old people through a smart talk system and has been set up to help them in their needs and habits, such as finding out if they have fallen down or if they have taken their medicines, so as to prevent the problems that result from cognitive impairment in old age”, Luís Santos explained. “We hope the robot may become completely independent from old people, since it can already notice if its batteries are running low and can go to the recharge unit on its own”, the project coordinator concluded.