Concept for Prioritisation and Parallelisation of Activities for SARs

Abstract

In a society with a growing older popoulation and a struggling healthcare sector, there is an increasing demand for adaptive assistance robots to relieve staff and enable individuals to remain independent at home for longer. These assistance robots are expected to adhere to user expectations

This thesis proposes a first concept for handling parallel activities. After getting an insight in what activities in the daily lives of elderly people could benefit from robotic support, a survey was conducted to find out more about the expectations elderly people and people working with them have. Overall the participants seemed to agree with the idea of an assistance robot and had many propositions for how it could support elderly people in their daily lives.

Furthermore, the workflow for handling parallel activities was proposed, consisting of two parts. The first part deals with tasks directly originating from user requests that users want to see executed immediately. Three kinds of tasks are distinguished according to the task’s duration. In the second part of the workflow proactive tasks originating from delayed user commands, external triggers or the robot’s self-initiative are handled and five categories with different priorities are discerned.

To evaluate the concept a prototype was implemented in form of an Android app. The evaluation was conducted with five participants, using a thinking aloud method. Overall, the test users stated they would accept the concept, however they did not fully agree with the chosen task priorities as well as with the robot regularly asking them to confirm their choice to start a task.

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