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OSU studying robots in veterans' home

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Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University researchers are partnering with the Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home in Lebanon to see if robots could help veterans’ health and wellness by assisting them in physical and mental exercise.

OSU researchers say the study costs about $800,000 and will be funded through the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging. According to researchers, the study is still in its early phases, with the exact methods and nature of the study to take shape only after interviews with veterans’ home staff and residents. At this point, researchers say they wish to study physical and cognitive exercise routines led by a human-sized robot at the home.

Researchers say having a robot in common areas of the home could perform exercises with the veterans that encourage them to be physically active in a group environment that may also benefit them socially. The researchers say they will also look at whether other types of robot interventions can be helpful in a skilled nursing environment, such as alleviating nurse burnout by handling some responses when residents call for a nurse.

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