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Mindfulness-enabled companion robots for elderly individuals with depression and anxiety in Brazil

Grant number: 19/16352-0
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 23, 2019 - December 19, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Computer Science - Computing Methodologies and Techniques
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Fantinato
Grantee:Marcelo Fantinato
Visiting researcher: Patrick C.K. Hung
Visiting researcher institution: University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Canada
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Several recent medical reports reveal that depression and anxiety have a serious impact on health (e.g., increased death rate of older people, increased risk of stroke etc.). Thus, it is important for societies to proactively address depression, especially in independently living seniors. To this end, "robots" are increasingly taking their places around us to help to address many challenges issues including companionship and even in-home healthcare. This project aims to address the elderly individuals with depression and anxiety in Brazil by developing means in mindfulness meditation for alleviating the in-home caretakers from routine tasks that can be partially automated and thus offloaded to companion robots. This project will methodically examine Brazilian cultural and ethical content with regard to perceptions of mindfulness meditation through companion robots for elderly individuals with depression. The key research outcomes will include a fully developed environment for Android-based robots and recommendations for the robot industry. (AU)