Go to STV News

Home-help robots put through paces in tournament

The robots are designed to answer the door, pick up drinks or fetch reading glasses.

By STV News

Published 26 Jan 2018.

Advanced robots which can help elderly people with everyday chores are being put through their paces at a tournament in Edinburgh.

Heriot-Watt University is hosting an international contest to trial assisted living robots.

The machines are designed to perform tasks including answering the door, picking up drinks and fetching reading glasses for people who are disabled or have mobility issues.

A custom-made 60 square metre laboratory has been created at the university, with teams from across Europe taking part in the European Robotics League (ERL) challenge.

The performance of the different robots will be evaluated in a home setting to enhance researchers' understanding.

Dr Mauro Dragone, an assistant professor at Heriot-Watt University, said the competition to determine the most effective machines would be similar to a football tournament.

He said: "Robotic competitions such as the ERL offer a unique opportunity to break down real-work challenges into a competition similar to the UEFA Champions League.

"This is exciting for robotics scientists, the industry and the general public alike."

He continued: "This tournament is the ideal way to compare and evaluate the performance of different robotic systems of service robots.

"Robots are set to revolutionise our economy and society over the next 20 years as they start to work for us and beside us, assisting us and interacting with us."