Robots won’t replace us, we’ll work together. With this slogan in mind, forty students from Avans, Fontys, and Tilburg University built self-learning machines. They were allowed to present these on June 7, 2018 at the Holland Robotics conference during the trade fair Vision, Robotics & Motion.
“How can Mrs. van Veldhoven continue to live at home while guaranteeing a feeling of safety?” was the assignment for the student team commissioned by Central24, an alarm company. The students came up with Kuri as a solution.
Kuri is a small mechanical man designed in the US and for sale for about 700 euros. The robot, developed by Mayfield Robotics, is half a meter tall and drives around in the same way as a robot vacuum cleaner. This allows Kuri to recognize objects, avoid stairs, and return to its charging station on its own. In addition, the robot is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a built-in camera.
If Kuri finds out a resident has fallen, the robot will sound the alarm. The students use Kuri in an ingenious way. After an accident, the robot immediately sends a message to the WhatsApp neighborhood group of which Mrs. Van Veldhoven is a member. If she does not respond, her family is informed, and, , five minutes later, a third message is sent to the alarm station in Eindhoven.
The jury found the idea behind Kuri to excel in usability and simplicity. The Kuri group won a first prize of 1,000 euros. Mrs. Van Veldhoven herself presented the prize to the students.
The other student groups also came up with very good solutions.