Special Issue "Robotics Research for Healthy Living and Active Ageing"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandro Di Nuovo
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Guest Editor
Sheffield Robotics & Department of Computing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
Interests: cognitive robotics; developmental robotics; human-robot interaction; intelligent robots; machine and deep learning applications
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Dr. Filippo Cavallo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, Pisa, Italy
Interests: social robotics, service robotics, human robot interaction and collaboration, wearable sensors, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, biomedical processing, active and healthy ageing, neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental applications
Dr. Laura Fiorini
Website
Guest Editor
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pontedera, Italy
Interests: ambient assisted living; cloud service robotics; ICT system for dual-task cognitive activation; pattern recognition; signal processing and experimental protocol definition
Prof. Dr. Yasuo Okabe
Website
Guest Editor
Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Interests: internet architecture; network security and ubiquitous networking
Prof. Dr. Nunzio Alberto Borghese
Website
Guest Editor
Applied Intelligent Systems Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: computational intelligence; limited processing time with e-Health and e-Welfare privileged application areas; use of serious games as tools to provide services in e-Health and e-Welfare in combination with smart objects, like sensorized toys and service robots

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, ICT and robotic technologies are making available an increasing number of opportunities to be exploited in several scenarios of daily living. Particularly, the integration of Robotics, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence, i.e., Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT) is an interesting approach that enables the possibility to design and develop new frontiers in personalized and precision medicine, cognitive frailty, and cooperative robotics. Social robotics technologies are exploiting this paradigm, addressing capabilities and abilities not only for a pure human–robot interaction but also for biomedical applications in the context of assistance, geriatric assessment, and stimulation.

Current literature shows a substantial research effort in this area that has a high potential for producing a high social and scientific impact by improving people’s lives, especially for children, the elderly, and the disabled. However, there are still some gaps to fill from a scientific and technological perspective and several social issues that prevent a widespread adoption by people. Among others, it is necessary to improve robots’ reliability, human–robot interaction capabilities, and to clinically validate solutions for healthcare applications.

In this context, this Special Issue appeals to researchers from the different scientific communities interested in the bio-robotics research for healthy living and active aging to submit their latest results in the development of solutions based on cloud services, artificial intelligence, and robotic technologies aiming at tackling bio-robotics challenges in enhancing people everyday life, providing high-quality healthcare service, assistive and monitoring solutions for active and healthy ageing; objective assessment in chronic diseases; objective neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation in neurodegenerative diseases; and physical and cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation in cognitive frailty.

We solicit contributions from researchers of any discipline because we believe that a multidisciplinary environment is ideal for fostering and promoting this research area due to its fundamentally interdisciplinary nature.

Manuscripts can be submitted to the Special Issue at any time before the deadline on 31 January 2020.

Dr. Alessandro Di Nuovo
Dr. Filippo Cavallo
Dr. Laura Fiorini
Prof. Dr. Yasuo Okabe
Prof. Dr. Nunzio Alberto Borghese
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Robot companions
  • Social interaction
  • Cultural differences in user needs/expectations
  • Tele-operated robots
  • Multimodal human–machine interfaces
  • Human behavioral modeling
  • Activity monitoring systems/activity recognition
  • Multimodal perception
  • Novel sensors
  • Smart environments
  • Mobility aids for locomotion or navigation
  • Automated or assistive manipulation systems

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Personality Factors and Empathy in the Acceptance and Performance of a Social Robot for Psychometric Evaluations
Robotics 2020, 9(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9020039 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Research and development in socially assistive robotics have produced several novel applications in the care of senior people. However, some are still unexplored such as their use as psychometric tools allowing for a quick and dependable evaluation of human users’ intellectual capacity. To [...] Read more.
Research and development in socially assistive robotics have produced several novel applications in the care of senior people. However, some are still unexplored such as their use as psychometric tools allowing for a quick and dependable evaluation of human users’ intellectual capacity. To fully exploit the application of a social robot as a psychometric tool, it is necessary to account for the users’ factors that might influence the interaction with a robot and the evaluation of user cognitive performance. To this end, we invited senior participants to use a prototype of a robot-led cognitive test and analyzed the influence of personality traits and user’s empathy on the cognitive performance and technology acceptance. Results show a positive influence of a personality trait, the “openness to experience”, on the human-robot interaction, and that other factors, such as anxiety, trust, and intention to use, are influencing technology acceptance and correlate the evaluation by psychometric tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotics Research for Healthy Living and Active Ageing)
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Open AccessArticle
A Plug and Play Transparent Communication Layer for Cloud Robotics Architectures
Robotics 2020, 9(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9010017 - 22 Mar 2020
Abstract
The cloud robotics paradigm aims at enhancing the abilities of robots by using cloud services, but it still poses several challenges in the research community. Most of the current literature focuses on how to enrich specific robotic capabilities, overlooking how to effectively establish [...] Read more.
The cloud robotics paradigm aims at enhancing the abilities of robots by using cloud services, but it still poses several challenges in the research community. Most of the current literature focuses on how to enrich specific robotic capabilities, overlooking how to effectively establish communication between the two fields. Our work proposes a “plug-and-play” solution to bridge the communication gap between cloud and robotic applications. The proposed solution is designed based on the mature WebSocket technology and it can be extended to any ROS-based robotic platform. The main contributions of this work are the definition of a reliable autoconnection/autoconfiguration mechanism as well as to outline a scalable communication layer that allows the effective control of multiple robots from multiple users. The “plug-and-play” solution was evaluated in both simulated and real scenarios. In the first case, the presence of users and robots was simulated with Robot Operating System (ROS) nodes running on five machines. In the real scenario, three non-expert users teleoperated, simultaneously, three remote robots by using the proposed communication layer with different networking protocols. Results confirmed the reliability at different levels: at startup (success_rate = 100%); during high-rate communications (message_lost = 0%); in performing open-loop spiral trajectories with enhancement, with respect to similar works; and in the quality of simultaneous teleoperations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotics Research for Healthy Living and Active Ageing)
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