Robots visit Knoxville neuroscience clinic to help improve their artificial intelligence.

U.T College of Engineering and Genesis Neuroscience Clinic are studying the use of robots to assist older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in various daily activities.
Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Students at the University of Tennessee’s Mechanical Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering college and the staff at Genesis Neuroscience Clinic in Knoxville are studying the use of robots to assist those living with memory disorders.

Ziming Liu has been working with U.T professor Xiaopeng Zhao on developing the robots, with the goal having them help slow the progression of dementia.

Liu says now they are trying to improve the robot’s functions with people, by bringing them to the Neuroscience clinic.

“We are trying to use more A.I technology to make more interactions and more advanced interactions between the robot and people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Liu.

The robots are being designed to stimulate the brain of those with a memory disorder, by giving them activities and questions.

The bots are also being programmed to pick up on emotional cues, make phone calls, and remind people of daily tasks such as taking medication.

Dr. Monica Crane at the Genesis says the robots could be beneficial to family of those with dementia.

“One of the limitations of dementia care is a lot of the time, care givers are very expensive, and families are stretched. So the whole idea of a social robot is not to replace people, but to be used as a supplement to caregivers.” says Crane.

With more research and improvements needed it could be a few years before the robots are completed.

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