Exploring Low-Cost Mobile Manipulation for Elder Care Within a Community Based Setting

  • Caio Mucchiani
  • Pamela Cacchione
  • Wilson Torres
  • Michelle J. Johnson
  • Mark Yim


This paper identifies tasks an affordable mobile manipulator service robot could do to benefit older adults’ independence in a supportive apartment living facility, and a series of tests validating the highest ranked tasks. Previous deployments considered a mobile only robotic base, performing exercises through walking encouragement and hydration by water delivery, both followed by pain assessment and are briefly described. Current tests investigated the efficacy of mobile manipulation tasks by adapting a novel, low-cost telescopic robotic arm to the same mobile base, with aspects of human-robot interaction investigated through a physical interactive game with the older adults. All deployments took place at a Program of All-inclusive Care (PACE) center and interactions were evaluated by two observers, along with post-interaction surveys with the older adults. Previous work on elder care robotics is discussed. Results of the mobile manipulation deployments, along with design guidelines are presented. Future work includes the development of a new mobile manipulator capable of performing the investigated tasks with a greater level of autonomy and efficiency.


Elder care robotics Human robot interaction Mobile manipulation 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PhiladelphiaUSA

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