Israeli researchers get grant to develop robots to help the elderly

Project’s goal is to advance robotic adaptive person following algorithms.

May 4, 2015 16:55
1 minute read.

Humanoid intelligent robot Alpha developed by UBTECH. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers are bringing closer the day when robots will help disabled elderly function at home in their daily routines.

Dr. Tal Oron-Gilad of the department of industrial engineering and management and Dr. Idit Shalev of the education department have received a grant from the Science, Technology and Space Ministry to develop algorithms to empower robots to help enable robots to assist the disabled. The project is entitled “Follow Me… Proxemics and Responsiveness for Following Tasks in Adaptive Assistive Robotics.”

As older adults want to remain independent as long as they can and human helpers come at a premium, robots can assist them in everyday tasks.

But introducing assistive robotics into their lives will be depend on user acceptance, satisfaction and affordability.

Robots have to move efficiently and be powerful enough power to carry objects. But the people they need to follow vary in their mobility and the way they walk. The human-robot system must adapt to the individual and be an appropriate distance away and responsive, especially for older users who may be more vulnerable and less technologically savvy.

The project’s goal is to advance robotic adaptive person following algorithms (APFA) to include concepts from human-human interaction. These include improving older users’ well-being and generating guidelines for future user attentive robotic assistants, highly individualized to the special needs of each elderly user.

The algorithm will adjust to user pace, abilities and actions, while taking into account the characteristics of the environment and the task as well, said Oron-Gilad and Shalev said. The project’s final outcomes will include guidelines for implementing and demonstrating the technology.

“While most person following algorithms focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of the robot, what is unique about our approach is that we focus on the effectiveness of the human-robot interaction by introducing constructs related to human-human interaction in space,” said Oron-Gilad.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

June 24, 2019
No mosquitoes allowed


Cookie Settings