About the Network

Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly at the University of Nottingham is leading a team of four other UK universities, Sheffield, Heriot-Watt, Sheffield Hallam, and Hertfordshire, who together will establish a new network, EMERGENCE. The network aims to create a robotics for healthcare community, which connects researchers, health and social care professionals, service users, regulators and policy makers, to bring about the wider use of healthcare robots to support people living with frailty in the community. 

The EMERGENCE network will explore how robots can be used to support people to better self-manage the conditions that result from frailty and, by providing information and data to healthcare practitioners, enabling more timely interventions. The EMERGENCE consortium is a world class multi-disciplinary team who bring, not only their expertise in healthcare technology research, but also innovative living lab testbeds from across the country.

The network will nurture and support a community of researchers in healthcare and robotics through pilot feasibility studies, sponsored and facilitated by the network to develop new approaches beyond the state-of-the-art. This co-designed research will lead to novel technologies capable of transforming how frailty is managed in the community. These pilots will underpin the development of larger programme grants and trials, providing the researchers involved with the basis to extend their research. 

Why Frailty?

Individuals with frailty have different needs but, commonly, assistance is needed in activities related to mobility, self-care and domestic life, social activites and relationships. Healthcare robots are increasingly recognised as solutions in helping people improve independent living, by having the ability to offer physical assistance as well as supporting complex self-management and healthcare tasks when integrated with patient data.

Why Robotics?

Individuals with frailty experience changes in their conditions over time, both in the longer term and the shorter term. Traditional assistive technologies struggle to adapt to these changes and are typically abandoned by their users as a result. Robotic solutions can be more easily personalised and developed to sense changes in behaviour and environment, draw inferences and make decisions in order to be able to adapt how support is delivered.

Priority Themes

We will focus our research on healthcare robotics solutions that enable:


Allowing older adults to self-manage their frailty by supporting behaviour change and self-managed rehabilitation activities.

Three people sit around a coffee table and we look down through the two nearer people who are older to see that the third younger person is showing them smoenthing on a tablet device. They are sat around a round black coffee table. In the background is an empty arm chair and a window framed by green curtains. The carpet is blue.


Allowing the mitigation of common manifestations of frailty such as help with activities of daily living and social isolation.

AN image showing a man sitting on a grey coloured sofa. The image is taken from behind the man and we can see that he is using a tablet device to look at something. The man has short white hair and is wearing glasses, a shirt and a jumper. There is a fire burning in the fireplace in the background.

Better Management

Allowing Health and Care Professionals to better manage frailty by assessing and monitoring changes associated with frailty.

Email emergence@nottingham.ac.uk for more information or click below to join the network

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