In the on-going quest to support people to live independently without the use of cameras, scientists at Newcastle University have developed a sensor to monitor a dog’s movements (no, not those sort of movements!). The premise is that changes in behaviour patterns of pet dogs, such as the amount of food they eat, or the length and regularity of their walks, could quickly signal variations in the well-being of their owners. Readings are taken from a waterproof collar-based sensor featuring an accelerometer and micro-controller. You can read more about it at Gizmag.
Meanwhile, over at the Hougang branch of St Luke’s Eldercare, Huggler, a robot in the guise of a cuddly monkey aims to entertain elderly people as well as provide mental stimulation and combat loneliness. Filled with a variety of sensors, Springwise reports that the monkey ‘emits different sounds depending on whether it is being stroked, tickled, or squeezed.’ It also picks up on the emotional state of the person playing with it, recording the data and making it available to caregivers to analyze the feelings of their patients in order to detect non-verbal emotions and help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.