The HelpingHand is an intelligent robot arm providing support on the moment that the person is losing stability and fears falling or could actually fall. It follows passively all user’s movements and gets active (“freezes”) in user’s unstable situations or when the user gives the ´freeze command´ himself; the robotic device then becomes a stiff support.
HelpingHand is designed such that an inexperienced user can make use of the robot intuitively. It takes away the insecure feeling of instability during complex tasks for elderly and handicapped people, wherein a person’s hands and full attention are needed an activity. It supports in all bathroom activities and completely eliminates the help of a care taker. The HelpingHand robot arm will be fixed on the bathroom walls with minimum installation costs. In principle, the robotic solution could also be applied in supporting daily tasks in other parts of the house, to solve similar issues with stability.
In western European countries the publicly funded care system provides support for all who need this, but demographic changes and economic decline forces nations to reconsider the level of care provision. This is another reason why aging in place is to be preferred. A resulting substantial increase in demand for extramural care will nevertheless create a need for human support that cannot be solved with traditional formal and informal human care. The solution proposed by Alten Mechatronics will create substantial health care cost reductions as it will support elderly and handicapped people to live at home without the need for human care.