The winners of the 5G challenge are a personal robot and a solution for promoting interaction with the outside world for elderly people who live alone.
Misty II, a robot created by the Lleida Group Saltó which monitors and cares for its user, and a platform created by Cisco to meet elderly people’s basic and care needs and provide them with social and recreational interaction, have won the “How to improve elderly people's quality of life using technology” challenge, organised by the City Council and Mobile World Capital Barcelona as part of the 5G Barcelona initiative.
The two winning projects will receive €100,000 to fund a pilot test for their technological solutions, which will be carried out on Vodafone’s 5G network and start this coming March in Barcelona.
This initiative aligns with the City Council’s aim of gearing innovation policies towards ensuring social rights. In this case, the objective is to find technological solutions that increase elderly people’s independent living, mitigating possible cognitive impairments resulting in difficulties in carrying out basic everyday activities and potential safety problems.
Misty II, an emotional robot that monitors its user
Misty II is a small personal robot able to move around and interact with its user, and is equipped with a camera, a microphone, sensors, two processors and the Android operating system.
As part of the SOMCARE project (promoted by the Saltó Group), Misty II is a care, assistance and monitoring platform for elderly people using an emotional robot. The robot is physically present in the house of the person it is caring for, talking to them and asking them about their daily routines (medication, eating, washing, and so on), and how they feel. Among other actions, it can follow or look for the person and start video conferences with medical services, sending them information to help analyse the person’s cognitive state by interacting through language.
“Eliminating Loneliness” project
The second winner is “Eliminating Loneliness”, developed by Cisco in collaboration with NAE. This solution consists of a video-conferencing device (Cisco DX80), optimised so that it is very simple to use, which enables users with health or mobility restrictions to do activities independently such as visiting a museum, being part of a reading club, following cooking classes, visiting the doctor, or getting in touch with their grandchildren.
Incorporated into the device is a presence sensor that automatically detects when someone has entered the room or woken up, providing instructions for starting to use it. Each device is customised and adapted to the user's personal tastes and preferences. Chat groups are created with other users (virtual chat rooms) based on these interests.
53 projects from 14 countries
The “How to improve the quality of life of elderly people using technology” challenge attracted 53 entries from 14 countries, including France, Sweden, the USA, Taiwan, Holland, Germany, Canada, Great Britain and China. A huge 50% of the participants were entrepreneurs from other countries.