New Walking Robot Invented To Assist Elder Citizens

Elder citizens do not need to become stressed out when navigating public spaces thanks to this innovation.

For an elder citizen, there is likely nothing as intimidating as a crowded, public space to navigate. For this reason, a team of engineers from Italy, Spain, Greece, the United Kingdom, France, and Austria partnered together to develop a robot walker that can help guide elder citizens around public buildings.

As AWWNews reports, it is not unusual for elder citizens on the verge of cognitive decline to experience difficulty navigating around shopping centers, airport, museums, and hospitals. And at present, their walking frames do not offer the flexibility needed to help them navigate often-crowded spaces. This may inevitably lead to confusion and frustration on their part, neither conducive to a senior citizens’ well-being.

To remedy this situation, the researchers invented a robotic cognitive walker that can be taken to, or picked up at, the location visited by the elder. He/she can then rely upon the robotic walker to be guided around the building safely.

Credit: DALI project / EC.

Credit: DALI project / EC.

The ingenious device, dubbed c-Walker, takes corrective actions when the user comes across the type of busy area, obstacle or incident they’d prefer to avoid.

Said team member Professor Luigi Palopoli of Trento University, “The c-Walker is aimed at providing physical and cognitive support to older adults. It can give them confidence in public environments.”

He continued:

“The device is full of hi-tech solutions, but the user is not necessarily aware of them. She or he comes into contact with a ‘standard’ walker, with a few additions such as the display or bracelets and does not need any kind of computer literacy. The robot simply guides them so that they have a nice, safe experience.”

At present the engineers say the c-Walker will cost around $2,200 per device, but it is possible the c-Walker will be in common use by the year 2020.

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