SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is a development project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7).
The SILVER project searches for new technologies to assist elderly people in their everyday lives. By the use of robotics or other related technologies, the elderly can continue independent living at home even if they have physical or cognitive disabilities.
The new technologies and solutions are sought by using a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process. In Europe, the PCP has so far been an under-utilized tool for promoting innovation. One of the aims of this project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach to address societal and governmental needs.
During the latest SILVER assessment panel held on August 20th in London, the Phase 3 tenders were evaluated. The panel decided to award a contract to Robot Care Systems with Lecorob. From the three Phase 2 prototypes – Helping Hand, Lecorob and Iron Arm – only the last two met the competition’s minimum criteria and were allowed to enter the third phase of the SILVER Pre-Commercial Procurement process. Out of the two, only Lecorob met the minimum threshold in the Phase 3 competition and was invited to sign a contract for the real-life testing of their solution in the SILVER municipalities. The aim of these tests is to check how the prototypes developed in Phase 2 actually perform in real-world conditions.
SILVER consortium gathered in Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark for the Phase 2 tests on 15th–17th April 2015. During the three-day lab-demonstrations the prototypes of Lecorob, Helping Hand and Iron Arm were reviewed regarding safety by the SILVER consortium and the healthcare experts. The aim was to ensure that the prototypes are safe enough to be tested with end-users during the following week. During these extensive safety and usability tests the prototypes were evaluated comprehensively and the contractors received detailed feedback. External experts together with the SILVER consortium procurers will assess the phase 3 applications and decide who the winning contractors will be in August 2015.
Phase 2 contractors had a meeting with procurers on the 19th September in Utrecht, Netherlands. The goal of the one-day meeting was to go over the next steps of the second phase of the pre-commercial procurement process, such as test process and assessment criteria. In April 2015, all three solutions – Lecorob, Helping and and Iron arm – will be tested regarding time saving, safety and usability at Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark. To learn more about Phase 2, follow link.