School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


14 Apr 2023

New project to create friendly robotic service to support elderly people

An elderly human arm, holding hands with a robot arm

A friendly robotic service for preventative care amongst older adults at risk of frailty is to be developed as part of a new collaborative project involving Loughborough University.

Funded by UKRI, the I’M-ACTIVE project will combine emergent technologies to assess home-based tasks, identify weaknesses, and provide tailored motivation for an active lifestyle.

NHS England has estimated that 3% of those aged 65 and older are severely frail and another 12% are moderately frail, totalling around 1.8 million people in the UK.

The incidence and prevalence of frailty are having a profound impact on all aspects of the UK economy and society.

The project aims to reduce the impact of frailty in the UK care and health system by analysing the benefits and limitations of emerging robotic and sensor technologies for older adults and engaging with policymakers, practitioners, carers, and potential users to co-produce a new service.

Professor Massimiliano Zecca, Loughborough University’s lead and an expert in healthcare technology in the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, says the research is “essential to reduce the burden on healthcare systems”.

His team will be responsible for the development of measurement tools that will allow for frailty to be assessed.

Athena Swan Bronze award

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The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
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