Robot supports older people with communication

Robot supports older people with communicationScientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) want to equip the helper so that it makes easy to use even complex media. The goal: even if they are housebound, older people are to maintain their social contacts and prevent isolation and can train cognitive abilities.

“Call my daughter!” Maybe the old man forgot the number or misplaced the phone; maybe he is also fallen and can not help them. ALIAS (Adaptable Ambient Living Assistant) needs to worry – it helps in any case. Because the robot sees the senior and establishes the connection to the desired contact person. Today ALIAS is a figure head, wheels, and PC. He actually domestic assistant, is it the TUM researchers will equip the next few years with software and controls – in the belief that “can help social robot” with the challenges of demographic change in Europe. “Many older people want as long as possible to remain living at home, even if they are limited in their physical or mental abilities,” says project coordinator Prof. Frank Well-off the Institute for Human-Machine Communication. “Of course they want to keep from there to contact their family, friends or facilities where they live. We want to improve their communication skills in their everyday lives and thus their autonomy. “

ALIAS will not only enable phone calls. In chats and social networks is to enhance the user can move. An e-card or to compete in an online game will be too easy. And on call ALIAS reads from the newspaper or translated from other languages. To make possible the ease of use include a speech recognition system and a touch screen with large fields – keyboard, mouse, and phones with small buttons and displays to be unnecessary. Later, a remote health monitoring could also be developed which provides users with additional security.

Presented is the development project of 15 to 17 September at the AAL Forum in Odense, Denmark. The Europe of 20 states, the EU and company launched AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) has aims to improve the quality of life of older people, while the industrial base of Europe through the use of information and communication technology. AAL supports the development of ALIAS in the next three years with € 3.87 million.

At the forum to the TUM-scientist with a questionnaire to collect proposals from both nurses and relatives of older people as well as equipment manufacturers and health insurance, what features should dominate ALIAS. Not least are the potential users even from the start will be asked for their wishes and during test development, the operation of ALIAS? Prof. Susanne Ibsen TUM Department of Gender Studies in Engineering will also support the project with ethical and gender studies.

An alias is also with the Technical University Ilmenau and Eurecom two other research institutions, the five companies Cognesys, Guger Technologies, MetraLabs, Synergisms and House, and the end-user organization involved PME family service. Thus, together specialists from four European countries for human-machine communication, dialog systems, content management, data search and navigation as well as an autonomous robot makers and sociologists. At TUM ALIAS is associated with the cluster of excellence Cognition for Technical Systems (CoTeSys). Here, research scientists Munich in how humanoid robots, autonomous vehicles and autonomous controlled factories to learn independently and communicate with humans.


Prof. Frank Well-off (Coordinator)
Technical University of Munich
Institute for Human-Machine Communication (Prof. Gerhard Rigoll)
Tel: +49 89 289 2573 4 / 7708 3738 +49,441

MD-2 Stepper Motor Control Systems

md2Would you like to automate a task but don’t know how? Have you looked through some motion control catalogs and been shocked by the complexity? Most vendors expect you to select and match motors, drivers, power supplies, and cables, then write your own software. We’ve cut through the confusion and created the complete motion control solution for those who don’t want to design their own. The MD-2 Dual Stepper Motor System contains everything you need to accomplish motion control with an IBM style personal computer.

No cards to install, no cables to build and no components to match. Simply connect to the parallel port on your computer just like a printer, load the software, and GO! Within minutes you’ll have complete control over the direction, position, and speed of each motor. Up to 6 motors (3 MD-2 systems) can be connected to your computer for those multi-axis projects.

Programming is simple with our interactive motion control programs and DOS command-line interpreter. Custom programs are easy to create using our subroutine libraries. There are 3 MD-2 models to choose from to fill a variety of torque and resolution requirements. Each MD-2 system includes 2 stepper motors, 2 10′ motor cables, printer port cable, 2 home switches, drive/power supply box, software and extensive documentation. The MD-2 system can be operated from an AC outlet or from a battery. You must have an IBM compatible personal computer with a parallel printer port. Need assistance? – give us a call, we’ll be glad to help.

This short article describes the differences between stepper motors and servo motors. Use the MD-2 system to control our XY positioning tables. Increse the torque and resolution of a stepper motor using our PR23 Pulley Reducers.

MD-2 System Features

  • Operates with a standard IBM-style PC
  • Includes motors, cables, driver, software, documentation
  • Easy to install and program
  • Interactive Motion control software included
  • Up to 6 motors on a single PC
  • Operates with data acquisition boards
  • Subroutine libraries in C, Basic, VB, Pascal source
  • Powerful multi-axis coordinated motion
  • General purpose Digital I/O signals provided
  • 3 sizes to choose from
  • No motion control experience needed
  • Cost effective

What is a Stepper Motor?
A stepper motor is a special kind of motor that moves in individual steps which are usually .9 degrees each. Each step is controlled by energizing one or more of the coils inside the motor which then interacts with the permanent magnets attached to the shaft. Turning these coils on and off in sequence will cause the motor to rotate forward or reverse. The time delay between each step determines the motor’s speed. Steppers can be moved to any desired position reliably by sending them the proper number of step pulses. Unlike servo motors, steppers can be used “open-loop” without the need for expensive encoders to check their position. Stepper motors are much more cost-effective than servo systems due to their simplified control and drive circuitry. There are no brushes to replace in a stepper motor, eliminating the need for maintenance. Even though a stepper motor system can not achieve the speed of a servo motor system, their ease of use allows them to be the preferred solution for many of today’s computerized motion control systems.

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For the first time have surgery on the heart using a radio-controlled robot.

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