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Robottikäsi ja ihmisen käsi kohtaavat

Robotics and smart technology in social and healthcare (RoboSoteLab)

1.1.2024 - 31.12.2025

Health and Welfare

Utilizing robotics and smart technology solutions offers many opportunities to support the independent and safe living of the elderly, as well as the work and service offerings of social and healthcare professionals both in home environments and care facilities. Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) has been actively involved in the development of robotics in the industry for a long time. In the future, the use of these solutions will become more prevalent in the welfare sector as well.

Project Objective

The purpose of the project is to establish capabilities and conditions for the emergence of new technological solutions, promote the adoption of novel technology, and facilitate companies in the application and testing of digital solutions in realistic social and healthcare testing and experimentation environments.

The project is part of the OYSTER – Strengthening the Digital Health Business development entity.

The OYSTER development entity consists of the following sub-projects:

  • 1a) Advancement of Business-oriented RDI Activities & Competence
  • 1b) Robotics and Smart Technology in Healthcare
  • 2) Mobile Unit
  • 3) Health & Life Science Incubator

The project is also part of the Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA) and OuluHealth collaboration. Partners of the Innovation Alliance include the City of Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Educational Consortium OSAO (VET), Natural Resources Institute Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, and Technopolis Oy.

The project comprises both development and investment projects aimed at establishing a versatile robotics and smart technology education and testing laboratory at the Kontinkangas campus to meet the needs of technology companies in Northern Ostrobothnia, as well as Oulu University of Applied Sciences and OSAO.

The development project aims to design and implement a regional co-development model utilizing robotics and related smart technology. The investment project intends to design and establish a RDI environment utilizing robotics and related smart technology.

Actions

In the development project, actions will be carried out in work packages:

  • WP 1: Requirements specification and information gathering (state of the art)
  • WP 2: Benchmarking, networking
  • WP 3: Planning and implementation of research and development pilots (user group pilots)

Regarding the environment design and implementation in the investment project:

  1. Requirements specification for the testing and experimentation environment (identification phase)
  2. Selection and investment phase
  3. Implementation and monitoring phase.

Results

Work package-specific outputs include:

  • WP 1: Description of the usage needs and possibilities of the targeted technological solutions, requirements for the robotics-smart technology environment, and description of the devices and services to be invested in and used in the robotics-smart technology environment.
  • WP 2: Plan and report on visitation and comparison sites.
  • WP 3: Pilot documentation and description of the service offering of the RDI environment.

Outputs related to environment implementation:

  1. Requirements specification for the testing and experimentation environment: specification of requirements for robotics-based technologies used in the testing environment involving various stakeholders. Survey of existing robotics solutions and how these technologies and related applications can be utilized in the RDI environment, as well as what investments are needed to realize an environment meeting the needs.
  2. Selection and investment phase: procurement plan and tendering and procurement decision for the devices and software to be acquired.
  3. Implementation and monitoring phase: implementation of acquired solutions and usage and maintenance plan.

The results of all work packages are compiled to create a model for utilizing robotics in the social and healthcare sector. A concrete outcome is the development of an RDI environment (to be located in Oamk SimLab and OSAO’s robotics laboratory) for the deployment of robotics and smart technology in the social and healthcare sector.

Funding and Implementation of the Project

The project is co-financed by the European Union, and funding is granted by the Council of Oulu Region. In connection with the OIA collaboration, the City of Oulu also participates in co-financing the project.

Oulu University of Applied Sciences is coordinating the project. Educational Consortium OSAO (VET) is participating in the project implementation.