ENRICHME is not intended as a substitute for human contact and social activities, but as an enabling tool for social interactions and inclusion, exploiting the capacity of the robot and the wider connectivity that it allows. This is an important aspect to improve Quality of Life as well as maintaining mental fitness of elder persons, highly intertwined with the following conceptual breakthrough in assistive technologies for cognitive disorders. That is, the trivial idea of memory and cognitive exercises, as currently provided by commercial ICT devices and presented in psychology laboratories (e.g. the capacity of repeating a list of words after a certain time delay), is not the optimal solution to support the fading away of a person’s identity. Such a complex problem includes, at individual and social level, the losing of ties to reality and to the environment, which are related to an autobiographically constructed self. Furthermore, it includes the set of desires and intentions that orient the person, in the present, with a continuous re-elaboration of the past and vision of the future.
The ENRICHME system is an interactive mobile robot in an assisted living environment for the provision of advanced user services, integrated within a domestic RFID ecosystem. It has three different levels of intelligence:
Robot Intelligence – This is the part of the ENRICHME system directly in contact with the elderly person. It is responsible for the safe navigation, monitoring and interaction with the person, as well as the delivery of services for cognitive stimulation, guidance and communication aid.
Ambient Intelligence – This module is in charge of the home automation and ambient sensing for long-term monitoring of human motion and daily/weekly/monthly life activities, also in relation to the use RFID tagged objects around the environment. In particular, it will include a database of human activities as they occur in a timeline (i.e. long-term memory) made available to the robot, for context-and time-aware HRI, and to the data analysis software.
Social Intelligence – At this level, the ENRICHME Platform for Networked Care creates the link between the Elderly sphere and the Social sphere, the latter being formal and informal caregivers, friends, medical staff.