A new, special colleague in home care

Very carefully, home care manager Joran Hoogenberg opened a large box, and then proudly lifted out his new colleague: the Guardian robot Misty II! Joran’s colleagues Yaela and Fred from home care, Rick from ICT and Klaske and Anita from communication were very impressed.

The Zorggroep participates in the international Guardian project. As the end-user partner, we are involved in the design, development and evaluation of this social robot with which we want to support senior citizens in their daily lives. In addition to the robot, an app has been developed for care professionals and informal caregivers with which Guardian can be adjusted. In the coming period the robot will be used in the home care of Zorgroep Noordwest-Veluwe.


I would love to be able to do a workout of 10 minutes that the robot supervises.” – Participant of the workshop

In this project, we are designing and developing the robot in co-creation with elderly people, district nurses and informal caregivers. In this way we can better understand how the robot could help seniors and their formal and informal caregivers in real life. During the project, there will be ongoing testing and evaluation with our colleagues and clients and their informal caregivers. The first live test sessions have now taken place. During these sessions, caregivers, informal caregivers and elderly people were able to get acquainted with the Guardian robot and try out the accompanying application. They shared with us their experiences with Guardian and ideas about the user-friendliness and added value of the functionalities.

“The client is less dependent on home care because of the deployment of the guardian.” – Trude Jozuazoon, home care nurse at ZNWV

From the Zorggroep, we provided much input on the wishes and needs of the elderly, informal caregivers and care professionals and what should be considered. The technical partners in the project, including ConnectedCare, will now work to improve the Guardian prototype on the basis of the results. Vilans, the national knowledge organization for care, is meanwhile supporting the Zorggroep in researching the use of the Guardian robot. In the second test round (January-March), the robot will spend two weeks in someone’s home. During this pilot project, elderly people who receive home care, their informal caregivers and home care nurses will experience first-hand how the care robot can contribute to everyone’s well-being, which functionalities of the robot really have added value, and how the robot can become even more advanced and intelligent.

What does the robot do?

Guardian is a 3-year Active and Assisted Living (AAL) research project in which both national partners and international partners in Italy and Switzerland are involved. In addition to the Zorggroep, the following partners are involved in the Netherlands: Vilans, Eindhoven University of Technology, ConnectedCare and Smartrobot Solutions. The reason for the project is the increasing pressure on the care professional and informal caregiver. Guardian offers companionship and is the eyes and ears of the care provider when he or she is not with the elderly person. The Guardian system consists of a robot (Misty II), a tablet to communicate with Guardian, and a caregiver app to set reminders and monitor the elder. This also allows the district nurse and informal caregiver to keep an eye on the elderly remotely. Eventually we will develop the robot into a tool for coaching and monitoring and it will become a buddy in someone’s home.

At the Zorggroep a competition among colleagues, caregivers and other interested people was held to find a Dutch name for Guardian. The name that was chosen to be the name for Guardian in the Netherlands is: Floor!

You can read the original and full article in Dutch here.

Anita Kiers - Hoofd Communicatie ZNWV