Trailblazer Project:


Challenges of Integrating Robots with Embodied Intelligence in the Homes of Older People Living with Frailty: Towards a Smart Middleware Architecture

Project Summary - Why CIREI?

This project will collate data from connected devices to help automate and support residents with daily activities and expose the anonymised collected data to a wealth of innovative and evidence-based solutions.

Meet the Project Team

Abdel-Karim Al-Tamimi

(Principle Investigator)

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Sheffield Hallam University

Armaghan Momeni

Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham

Maher Salam

Cybersecurity and Privacy Expert at King's College London

Elvira Perez

Professor of Digital Technology for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham

Dave Cameron

Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Sheffield

Waqas Hameed

Health & Wellbeing Manager at Darnall Wellbeing

Joe McLoughlin

National Representative of Technology Enabled Care (TEC) and the Managing Director of Astraline

Andrew Conroy

Commercial Director of Astraline

Jack Battersby

TEC Specialist and Innovation Team Member of Astraline

Project Plan

Narrative Summary

The CIREI project will address one of the fundamental challenges of integrating different types of smart home and robotics technologies - the lack of an open middleware platform that works across a range of technologies.

Although there is an expanding range of new, smart, and simple robotic and Internet of Things devices to support people living with frailty, the full potential of these is still yet to be realised in creating a truly ‘smart and assistive’ home. In this project, we aim to develop a smart middleware framework (viz. WISE-WARE) to integrate the currently fragmented range of off-the-shelf devices and to help 1) collate data from connected devices to help automate and support residents with their daily activities, and 2) expose the anonymised collected data to a wealth of innovative and evidence-based solutions. 

The CIREI project will start by exploring the current barriers to interoperability and integration, and then address gaps by developing a smart, open middleware framework to support improved access and implementation of robotics technologies and associated IoT systems across different types of facilities. 

By integrating these assistive devices together and drawing from the as-yet untapped data, this project serves as a key enabler for research and applied robotics opportunities to identify where support may be needed the most, to provide better-targeted interventions, and to offer deep insights to inform the development of new and personalised forms of home support. 

Our project sets out to achieve this by surveying the currently available intelligent off-the-shelf robots and services that can be easily integrated into existing home environments to identify the scope for their usage and available data. Drawing from these findings, we will conduct an ideation and co-design workshop with key stakeholders on integrating assistive technology devices into residents' daily routines, and the current challenges associated with integrating assistive technology. Insights and guidance from these inform the development of a smart middleware framework and a simple prototype that showcases the potential benefits of integrating multiple smart platforms. 

Hear from the project team...

CIREI - Intro Video.mp4