Robots and the Future of Welfare Services (ROSE)

ROSE (Robots and the Future of Welfare Services) is a research project funded by Strategic Research Council of Academy of Finland. It started in October 2015.

The principal objective of this project is to assess the potential of service robots in renewal of welfare services. The project adopts a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to study how advances in robot technologies allow product and service innovation and renewal of welfare services, when such services are developed jointly with users and other stakeholders, and when ethical issues are taken into account. Individual homes and care homes are utilized as Living Lab environments during the project.

The analysis is done at three levels:

  • Individuals (human-robot interaction, ethics, individual support functions, human-robot co-existence)
  • Services and service organization (welfare services enabled by robots in different roles)
  • Society (societal acceptance, renewal of service systems, innovation ecosystem)

The research questions include:

  • How are the service users’ expectations and experiences of welfare services changing due to the introduction of robots?
  • What social and ethical issues and risks arise in human–robot interaction?
  • How is the welfare service system changing due to the introduction of robots?
  • What opportunities and threats do robotics present to the welfare service system in terms of quality and accessibility of services?
  • What are the challenges of robot and welfare technology innovations and export at national and global markets?

The consortium comprises Aalto University (coordinator), University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Lappeenranta University of Technology (Lahti Unit). The disciplines represented are technology, sociology, nursing science, philosophy and industrial management.

For further information, contact Helinä Melkas, helina.melkas(at)lut.fi

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