The robot house plays a significant role in a number of european and UK-based research projects. It provides local researchers an partners with an appropriate infrastructure to answer scientific questions related to human-robot interaction, especially in robot-based care and domestic applications. Please find below a list of current and concluded research projects that are closely associated with the robot house.
Current research projects
Robot House 2.0
The goal of this EPSRC Strategic Equipment award is to extend the functionalities of the robotics hardware in the University of Hertfordshire's Robot House, creating the Robot House 2.0 - a facility that allows research into a broader range of relevant application areas, and that will be accessible to other research groups and industry primarily in the UK but also across the EU and internationally. Extending the robotics hardware and providing accessibility to the wider Robotics and Autonomous Systems community, including academic and industrial beneficiaries.
Concluded research projects
ACCOMPANY (Acceptable robotiCs COMPanions for AgeiNg Years) was a 3 year project, partially funded by the European Commission under the FP7 programme. It aimed to develop a companion robot which assists elderly people to maintain their independence for longer within their home environment. The project team assessed user requirements and acceptance of the robot in their design of a physical, cognitive and social assistant for everyday home tasks. It was further investigated how the robot could contribute to the re-ablement of the user, delivering services through socially interactive, acceptable and empathic interaction. The project focused on the establishment of a co-learner relationship, where both the robot and user could provide mutual assistance.
LIREC (LIving with Robots and intEractive Companions) was an FP7 Integrated European project. It has been exploring how we live with digital and interactive companions. Throughout the project it has been investigating how to design digital and interactive companions who can develop and read emotions and act cross-platform.
The project goal was to develop "user-friendly" companion technology, and the UH research team focused on the development of robotics technology that can assist people in their home environment. For this reason, the research had to be carried out in a real home since laboratory conditions are often too artificial. It used the Robot House primarily for studies because it provided an environment for autonomous companion robots enhanced by a sensor network. The project studied three scenarios: physical assistance, cognitive prosthetic and social mediator.
COGNIRON (The Cognitive Robot Companion) was an Integrated Project funded by the European Commission's FP6. The overall objectives of this project were to study the perceptual, representational, reasoning and learning capabilities of embodied robots in human centred environments. The project focused on developing methods and technologies for the construction of such cognitive robots, able to evolve and grow their capacities in close interaction with humans in an open-ended fashion.
In the focus of this research endeavour was the development of a robot whose ultimate task is to serve humans as a companion in their daily life. The robot was not only considered as a ready-made device but as an artificial creature, which improves its capabilities in a continuous process of acquiring new knowledge and skills.