So... FLL is not only about Robotics! There is also a Research Project that is 25% of the Team score (another 25% for Robot Performance, 25% for Teamwork, 25% for Robot Design/Software Design) This year the Theme was Body Forward - having to do with technology and the human body.
In brainstorming for our Team Project, we noticed on the Robot playing field a medicine dispenser. We immediately thought of our Great-Grandma who had trouble keeping track of her complicated medicine regimen and her son and daughter were always worried about her getting her medicines. Our Great-Grandma (GG) wanted so desperately to stay independent, we thought it would have been really cool if there was such a thing as a robot companion that would dispense her medicine, remind her to take it, remind her to eat, to go to doctor appointments and hair appointments, play cards with her to keep her mind sharp, and keep her in touch with her doctors and extended family and help them keep track of her health.
We dubbed our companion robot RememberBot, and did some research on what technologies were existing to make RememberBot a reality. Well, there were pill dispensers out there, there were memory stimulating devices out there, and there were robots that connect you with doctors and relatives. But nothing out there pulled it all together into a companion robot for the elderly.
We also found a lot of statistics showing the growing need for such technology. With the growing elderly population, technology that allows these seniors to maintain their independence and stay in their homes as long as possible will be in great demand.
We also found a good bit of research is being done in the area of elderly companion robots both at UMass and by Dr. Kemp at GA Tech but mostly in the realm of mobility aid robots.
So, we created a skit to present our information with Caleb posing as our RememberBot, James as our Designer, Kayla as our elderly patient, and Jacob as the concerned son.
We will have a video of the skit up shortly on the website... please check back!