JACIII Vol.28 No.1 pp. 169-178
doi: 10.20965/jaciii.2024.p0169

Research Paper:

Development of a Living Laboratory to Verify Assistive Technology in Simulated Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Kenji Kato*1,† ORCID Icon, Tatsuya Yoshimi*1 ORCID Icon, Daiki Shimotori*2 ORCID Icon, Keita Aimoto*3, Naoki Itoh*3, Kohei Okabe*4, Naoyuki Kubota*5 ORCID Icon, Yasuhisa Hirata*6 ORCID Icon, and Izumi Kondo*7 ORCID Icon

*1Laboratory of Clinical Evaluation with Robotics, Assistive Robot Center, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
7-430 Morioka-cho, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

Corresponding author

*2Laboratory of Practical Technology in Community, Assistive Robot Center, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
7-430 Morioka-cho, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

*3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
7-430 Morioka-cho, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

*4Mechanical System Safety Research Group, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan Japan Organization of Occupational Health and Safety
1-4-6 Umezono, Kiyose, Tokyo 204-0024, Japan

*5Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Graduate School of Systems Design, Tokyo Metropolitan University
6-6 Asahigaoka, Hino, Tokyo 191-0065, Japan

*6Department of Robotics, Tohoku University
6-6-1 Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan

*7Assistive Robot Center, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
7-430 Morioka-cho, Obu, Aichi 474-8511, Japan

March 31, 2023
September 13, 2023
January 20, 2024
living laboratory, assistive robotics, ceiling suspension system, markerless motion capturing system

Assistive robots and technologies can play a key role in supporting the independence and social participation of older people, helping them living healthy lives and reducing the burden on caregivers. To support the effective development of assistive robots and technologies, it is important to develop a “living laboratory” to verify and adapt technology in real-life living spaces. The purpose of this study is to validate assistive robots using a living laboratory that simulates typical indoor and outdoor real-life situations. The rationale is to enable evaluation of daily living activities of older people in a simulated living space. To minimize the risk of trauma after falls, a ceiling suspension system was installed in the living laboratory. Six different commercially available mobility and transfer support robots were introduced and tested. We demonstrated that effective scenarios could be implemented using these assistive robots within the living laboratory. We implemented a 3D markerless motion capturing system in the outdoor space and showed that outdoor activities, including walking up and down a ramp, could be verified with sufficient accuracy in three cases: (i) normal use without a robot, (ii) use of the ceiling suspension system, and (iii) use of a mobility support robot on three healthy subjects. These results suggest that the proposed living laboratory can support testing and verification of assistive robots in simulated living environments.

Living laboratory to verify assistive technology

Living laboratory to verify assistive technology

Cite this article as:
K. Kato, T. Yoshimi, D. Shimotori, K. Aimoto, N. Itoh, K. Okabe, N. Kubota, Y. Hirata, and I. Kondo, “Development of a Living Laboratory to Verify Assistive Technology in Simulated Indoor and Outdoor Spaces,” J. Adv. Comput. Intell. Intell. Inform., Vol.28 No.1, pp. 169-178, 2024.
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Last updated on Jul. 19, 2024