As robot assistance for elderly in homes and care facilities become central funding topics, this raises ethical and methodological questions. What consequences has the automatization of care for the quality of life and dignity of those cared for? How can robotic assistance be designed adequately and carefully? And what challenges arise from the endeavor for robotics research, in return? The aim of this project is to investigate methods and approaches for interdisciplinary collaboration that results in more appropriate designs and technical solutions of robots for the care context, concerning appearance, intelligent behavior and situatedness in the social context of use. The interdisciplinary constellation will enable to re-think from the ground up what care-robotics should look like and 'do', using contemporary design methods in a rapid prototyping, design-driven approach. RethiCare will investigate robots, i.e., devices with autonomously controlled degrees of freedom. Hence the design process addresses, besides shape and functionality, also the design of behavior that is inherently proactive and adaptive.
RethiCare is funded by VolkswagenStiftung, an independent German funding organization.
Project partners:University of Southern Denmark, Denmark; Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany; Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany