Care at Home using Intelligent Robotic Omni-functional Nodes

CHIRON doesn’t have one body, but many. A set of intelligent modular robotic systems, located in multiple positions around your home; CHIRON could help you with personal hygiene tasks in the morning, help you get ready for the day and even support you in preparing your favourite meal in the kitchen.

The CHIRON system harnesses current and emerging ability of robotic systems to handle materials and objects with high levels of accuracy, linked to sensory feedback and vision. CHIRON’s various components can be mixed and matched to enable the customer to undertake a wide range of domestic and self care tasks independently or enable a care worker to assist an increased number of customers.

The funding for this project has been awarded by Innovate UK’s Long Term Care Revolution SBRI national challenge which aims to revolutionise long term care in the UK through business-led innovation. The two year project will began in February 2016.

What is the need?

The UK’s population is ageing at a rapid pace. The Office for Budget Responsibility recognises that by 2065, 26% of the population of England and Wales would be more than 65 years old, up from 18% today. With increasing numbers of older adults needing assistance in later life, there is a challenge for society as to how best provide and maintain high quality support, and ensure that people can stay integrated and valued members of their communities.

CHIRON would be used alongside a person’s existing support network and would grow with a person’s needs. It would enable people to stay independent for longer, supporting them to undertake their own personal care tasks, remain mentally engaged and generally extend their years of healthy and fulfilling life.

Who will benefit?

We envisage a CHIRON in every home. CHIRON will be built to grow with us, learn our needs and preferences while we are well, and adapt, expand and learn as our care needs emerge.

The assistive system would be aimed at people with good health, poor health or a known future need for healthcare support. The long-term aim is that people view CHIRON as a means of reducing their future need for care.

Our ultimate aim is to offer a new perspective on ageing, helping people realise their aspirations as they age.

Expected outcomes

  • People will be able to stay independent for longer through the provision of assistive robotics
  • It will help to promote greater choice and flexibility for care later in life
  • It will impact personal and social perception and understanding of robotics in care
  • We will move away from an “end of life” institutional model which is widely viewed as unfit for purpose.

What is our role?

The CHIRON project is being managed by a consortium led by Designability. Our key technology partners are Bristol Robotics Laboratory and Shadow Robot Company, who have considerable expertise in conducting pioneering research and development in robotics. Through their experience of working with end-users and health/social care providers, the consortium recognise that a modular, cost-effective robotic solution that offers adaptability to a person’s changing needs is vital for realising real-world deployments.

The CHIRON team aims to integrate output delivered devices and systems software into a modular scalable system of products that can start small and be grown by the customer. Award winning social enterprise care provider, Three Sisters Care will bring user centred design to the very core of our project. Smart Homes & Buildings Association will work to introduce the range of devices that will create CHIRON and make it an indispensible presence in our homes.

Project partner profiles

Find out a bit more about some of the project partners involved in CHIRON:

Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Shadow Robot Company
Smart Homes & Buildings Association

Further information

Project Lead: Professor Nigel Harris

Details about the Innovate UK Long Term Care Revolution challenge.

For more information about CHIRON please contact Dr Nigel Harris 01225 824103

Last updated 07.01.16

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