Fabia Franco and Anthony Mangiacotti have collaborated with Dr Eris Chinellato and student Sara Cooper from Design Engineering & Mathematics at Middlesex who were developing a cognitive rehabilitation system based on the humanoid robot Pepper, a robot that would be able to recognize individuals and select cognitive exercises on the basis of the level of ability demonstrated by the individual in the interaction.

We have supported Sara with tests and tasks and she has adapted the robot to work with older adults. We are exploring the potential of Pepper in the context of helping with the rehabilitation and support of individual with cognitive decline, also in association with our project with the charity MHA in care homes, where Pepper could be an innovative tool to facilitate the care home staff in enhancing and supporting cognitive abilities and daily routines of the residents. In the photo a first meeting with Anthony, Pepper, Ming Hung Hsu (Methodist Homes Associations) and Sara Cooper.image001.jpg

We have also run a first pilot study with healthy older participants (65-90 yrs). Pepper’s behaviour has been personalised for the older adults in terms of personality (interaction distance, verbal feedback) and personalised activities.

Sara and Eris developed also an associated external web-based platform, with which professionals could easily monitor and analyse participants’ data. 

Positive results have been received from the healthe older adults that took part in the intercation with Pepper. Results highlighted that the more sociable the robot appears to be, the better is the overall experience.

In sum, further developments on social robots delivering cognitive training appear to present great potential to support healthy aging with adaptations to various environments, such as private homes, community centers and nursing homes, not to mention offering increased flexibility in social distancing situations such as the 2020 Covid-19 crisis’.

Do you would like to see our Pepper dance? have a look at this video 🙂