Invited Speakers

Dr. Iman Awaad

Dr. Iman Awaad is a researcher at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (A2S) in the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Sankt Augustin, Germany. As a member of the the Autonomous Systems Group, the Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology (b-it) and the Center for Assistive Technologies Rhein-Ruhr (ZAT) her work focuses on the synergistic use of technologies to assist humans in the work, home, healthcare, mobility and education domains. With a background in intelligent, autonomous robots, automated planning, and knowledge-based systems, she has been a strong proponent of personalised and adaptive real-world systems that behave in socially-accepted and -expected ways since 2009. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Rutgers, the State University of NJ (USA) in 1996, and a master’s in autonomous systems from the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (Germany) in 2008, she is currently a PhD candidate at Osnabrück University (Germany) under Professor Joachim Hertzberg. 

ZAT: Enabling Innovations in Assistive Technologies for the Future

By all accounts, the issues we face worldwide — today — as a consequence of not only an ageing society, but one where, for example, diagnoses of neurological conditions at all age groups continue to rise, have fuelled researchers to find ways to improve the lives of those affected — both directly and indirectly. The potential benefits stemming from the use of such assistive technologies is immeasurable.  This talk will provide an introduction to the work being conducted by the Center for Assistive Technologies Rhein-Ruhr (ZAT), the focus on pro-adaptivity and what this looks like in the work, home, healthcare, mobility and education domains. In addition, we will discuss a number of challenges that have posed barriers to entry in the fields of assistive technology and issue a call for closer and stronger ties amongst the many initiatives to successfully address these challenges. 

Dr. Hannah Bradwell

Dr. Hannah Bradwell is a Digital Health Research Fellow within the Centre for Health Technology at the University of Plymouth. She has extensive experience in digital health research, primarily in designing, implementing and evaluating novel technologies in health and social care, with a particular focus on end-user and stakeholder feedback.

Exploring the Design, Use and Impact of Companion Pet Robots and Automata for Older Adults and People with Dementia

Companion robots, socially assistive robots typically possessing zoomorphic features, have shown potential in supporting older adults and people with dementia with their wellbeing. This presentation summarises a range of studies which aimed to expand the knowledge base on a range of available companion robots for older adults, through collaborative action research. The studies explored feedback in various settings from a collectively large sample of stakeholders including older adults (with and without dementia), family members, care home staff and management, robot developers, health and care professionals and students. Studies to be presented relate to robot design, the implementation, use and impact, infection control and ethical considerations.