PRoSPEro is a project about social robots

The use and potential use of artificial intelligence, decision support systems and social robotics is increasing across Europe.

While the technological challenges are substantial, there is progress in key areas: prototypes and marketable products have been developed; and debates have commenced on the ethical, economic, philosophical and social challenges.

While these technologies will be used by, or alongside, a range of social professionals, there has been little thought of how this might impact on their everyday work, career development and professional identity.

Minimal consideration has been given to how these challenges can be incorporated into the education and training of such professionals, including curriculum content; pedagogy and standards.

Target groups

PRoSPEros primary target groups are students and educators in social professional programmes, in particular social work; social care / education / pedagogy; elder care; selected medical areas (eg gerontology; nursing); education (early years; youth work)

PRoSPEros secondary target groups: social professionals; policy makers; non-HE educators; general public.

  • Purpose

    The objectives of this project are among others to create learning resources that can be used in a range of educational settings across European HEIs

    The use and potential use of artificial intelligence, decision support systems and social robotics is increasing across Europe. While the technological challenges are substantial, there is progress in key areas: prototypes and marketable products have been developed; and debates have commenced on the ethical, economic, philosophical and social challenges.

    While these technologies will be used by, or alongside, a range of social professionals, there has been little thought of how this might impact on their everyday work, career development and professional identity.

    Minimal consideration has been given to how these challenges can be incorporated into the education and training of such professionals, including curriculum content; pedagogy and standards. 

    Objectives

    The objectives of this project are to:

    1. Identify and critically assess the existing knowledge base re. the use of social robotics in social care and social professional settings, with a focus on identifying materials of use to those in the field

    2. Bring together in a transdisciplinary environment: social robotics researchers and creators; social professional students and educators; practitioners and policy makers, to share expert knowledge and to develop mutual understanding of the current status and future potential of social robotics

    3. Engage in pedagogical activity and reflection to identify the most effective and complementary approaches to facilitating social professionals to engage in the ethical, practical and social issues related to social robotics

    4. Create learning resources that can be used in a range of educational settings across European HEIs

    5. Disseminate knowledge developed through the project to a broad audience, including interested members of the public, practitioners and policy makers, as well as those in HE settings

    6. Develop a sustainable network of those interested in social robotics as applied to social care

  • Calendar - meetings and multiplier events

    Here you can get an overview of the meetings and multiplier events held by PRoSPEro

    Multiplier events

    Ireland ME: Dementia and social robotics

    Delivery mechanism: Highly likely to be virtual and held on NUIG’s institutional Zoom account.
    Suggested date: One of the following: 20th, 21st, 27th or 28th January 2021

    Netherlands ME: Design workshop social robotics and social care

    Suggested date: April 2021

    Poland ME: Original title ‘Dementia and social robotics’. 

    However, given their area of expertise at ULS, we discussed the possibility of revising this to ‘Autism and social robotics’, as follows:
    Suggested date: June 2021

    Denmark ME: Final Dissemination Workshop

    Suggested date: November 2021

     

    Meetings

    Meeting 0. Location: Enschede NL (U. Twente) (January 2017)

    Planning meeting for the project, focusing on clarification of project objectives and development of WPs, budgeting &c. Initial exposure to real-world social robotics research. 

    Meeting 1. Location: Sligo IE. Date: Sept 2017.

    Kick-off meeting. Establishment of all management processes and evaluative mechanisms. Discussion of WP2 and WP3 actions, milestones and deliverables. Clarification and agreement on all budgetary matters including identification of dedicated finance contacts for each partner. Presentation from staff and students of mechanical engineering in relation to personal service robotics research and development.

    Meeting 2. Location: Wroclaw PL. Date: Jan 2018. 

    Finalisation and discussion of WP2 [Intellectual outputs O1-O5]. Further discussion of WP3 and outline of workshop A [multiplier event E1] schedule and format. Initiate discussion of WP 6. Presentation from Flash Robotics. Meetings with staff and students of U. Lwr Silesia, and local practitioners, to discuss project. Commence work on FESET conference paper [intellectual output O12]. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

    Meeting 3. Location: Aarhus DK. Date: May 2018. 

    First iteration of Workshop A [multiplier event E1]. Discussion and planning for Workshop B of WP3 [multiplier event E5]; initial planning for WP4 and WP5. Report from PL partner in relation to WP6. Meetings with staff and students of VIA UC, and local practitioners, to discuss project. Present workshop at FESET seminar: 'Ethical dilemmas in socio-educational care work: Challenges in a rapidly changing world' [intellectual output O12]. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

    Meeting 4. Location: Valencia ES. Date: November 2018.

    Second iteration of Workshop A [multiplier event E2]. Finalise planning for Workshop B [multiplier event E5]. Report from partners on progress of WP4 and WP5. Meetings with staff and students of U. Valencia , and local practitioners, to discuss project, within context of local European Robotics week event. Commence planning for academic paper 1 [intellectual output O10]. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

     

    Meeting 5. Location: Enschede NL. Date: March 2019.

    Workshop B (Major symposium on research in social robotics)[multiplier event E5]. Finalise academic paper 1 [intellectual output O10]. Finalise WP4 [intellectual output O6] and report from partners on process of WP5 and WP6. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

     

    Meeting 6. Location: Dublin IE. Date: November 2019.

    Third iteration of Workshop A [multiplier event E3]. Commence planning for academic paper 2 [intellectual output O11]. Meetings with staff and students of Dublin HEIs and practitioners from Alzheimer Society of Ireland, to discuss project, within context of local European Robotics week event. Finalise Case study 2 of WP5 (Dementia & social robotics) [intellectual output O8]. Report on progress of WP6. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

     

    Meeting 7. Location: Wroclaw PL. Date: March 2020.

    Fourth and final iteration of Workshop A [multiplier event E4]. Finalisation of case study 1 of WP5 ('robot baby') [intellectual output O7]. Presentation of output of WP6 [intellectual output O9] and introduction to NAO robot. Second presentation from Flash Robotics. Meetings with staff and students of U. Lwr Silesia, and local practitioners, to discuss project. Finalise academic paper 2 [intellectual output O11]. Complete ongoing project monitoring and evaluation.

     

    Meeting 8. Location: Holstebro DK. Date: July 2020.

    Final project meeting. Check-off all WPs and deliverables complete and all administrative/financial matters in order. End-of-project symposium [multiplier event E6] to include all partners, students and staff of VIA and Holstebro municipality, and local practitioners; policy-makers. Finalise project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Outputs

    Comprehensive reviews of literature and data that specifically address the intersection of social robotics, social care, and the social professions.

    Comprehensive reviews of literature and data that specifically address the intersection of social robotics, social care, and the social professions.

    Scoping review 1: statistics and trends

    Scoping review 2: technological state-of-the-art

    Scoping review 3: Ethical and social issues

    Scoping review 4: National and EU policy frameworks

    Scoping report 5: Pedagogy

    Position paper: Ethical and social challenges: identifying key issues for social robotics

     

    Case study 1: 'Robot baby'

    Nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and policy makers are presented with the underlying pedagogical framework for the robot baby intervention. Ethical, social, economic, cultural perspectives and dilemmas are being presented and discussed.

     

    Case study 2: 'Social robotics and dementia'

    The focus of this case study has yet to be determined, and will be shaped by the progress of the project. Two ideas have been considered to date:

    Output Description: 1. Many clients use toy dolls as a 'comfort blanket', especially those in late stage dementia who have reverted to their childhood.  The case study will examine the feasibility of using 'robot doll' as a substitute for toy dolls that clients currently to see is there any marked increase in client satisfaction/comfort.

    or

    2. The case study will examine the use of AI/social robotics to enhance client safety in the home. One of the recurring issues for people with dementia is 'wandering'. This can be a safety issue especially at night. Could we use AI or a social robot to detect and protect unwanted wandering during the night?

    In either case, what practical, professional, ethical and social issues are involved and how can these be related to pedagogic concerns?

     

    Pedagogical approaches to teaching about social robotics

    Implementation of social robotics in the field of social services requires a new kind of educational approach and development of new kind of skills and competence. On the basis of outcome of WPs 2-5 this output will consist of the general curricular guidelines for education in relevant fields: pedagogy, special pedagogy, social work etc.

    On the basis of the analyses of the potential issues according to implementation of social robotics in the field of social services we will prepare a document that will contain general guidelines according to what topics should be addressed in education of future social service workers:

    a) what changes in social relations and work conditions will social robotics bring?

    b) what attitudes of future social workers will be required in relation to social robotics?

    c) what competences of workers shall be developed?

    d) what kind of ‘soft skills’ will be required?

    e) some propositions about sources of knowledge about social robotics and its consequences

    f) cultural differences in reactions to social robotics and its consequences for education.

    The prepared document will be a reference point for bodies responsible for preparation of curriculum in particular contexts of different countries. It will be also a reference point as the strategic document for schools and teachers preparing courses and modules in relevant fields of education on the upper secondary and tertiary level.

     

    Academic article 1

    The output will be an academic article on the theme of the project, for submission to a high quality academic journal, for example International Journal of Social Robotics, Innovations in Teaching and Learning International or Research on Social Work Practice.

    The article will be innovative as literature searches to date (eg Google Scholar, Web of Science, ERIC database) reveal few articles that address issues of social robotics, care and professional identity.

    The article will be widely available to scholars, practitioners and students and, subject to the intellectual property policies of the specific journal, a preprint version will be made available on the project website. In addition a presentation based on the article will be made at the final project symposium (E6).

     

    Academic article 2

    The output will be an academic article on the theme of the project, for submission to a high quality academic journal, for example International Journal of Social Robotics, Innovations in Teaching and Learning International or Research on Social Work Practice.

    The article will be innovative as literature searches to date (eg Google Scholar, Web of Science, ERIC database) reveal few articles that address issues of social robotics, care and professional identity.

    The article will be widely available to scholars, practitioners and students and, subject to the intellectual property policies of the specific journal, a preprint version will be made available on the project website. In addition a presentation based on the article will be made at the final project symposium (E6).

     

    Conference paper/workshop: Social robotics and social care

    Paper/workshop for FESET conference, Arhus, May 2018. The theme of this conference is most appropriate to this project: 'Ethical dilemmas in socio-cultural care work: Challenges in a rapidly changing world'.

    The output will be innovative in that the topic of social robotics and its interaction with social care/pedagogy has not yet been considered in any depth at a FESET event. FESET is the European professional association for social care/pedagogy/education.

    FESET events typically attract 200-250 professionals, educators, practitioners and students from across Europe and more broadly, so this presentation/workshop will have a high capacity to facilitate transferability of project outputs.

    In addition the presentation will be published on the project website.

  • Partners

    The PRoSPEro project has eight partners 

    The partners represent both higher educational institutions and a Municipality. 

    VIA University College

    Karin  Christiansen
    kach@via.dk
    +45 87 55 13 18
    Website

    Søren Munch Terkelsen - webadministrator
    somt@via.dk
    +45 87 55 14 28

    The University of Twente

    Dennis Reidsma 
    d.reidsma@utwente.nl
    +31 53 48 93 718
    Website

    Institute of Technology, Sligo

    John Pender
    pender.john@itsligo.ie
    +35 37 19 30 57 35
    Website

    Universitat de València

    Almudena A. Navas Saurin 
    almudena.navas@uv.es
    +34 96 39 83 695
    Website

    Holstebro Municipality 

    Hans-Jørgen Niewald
    Hans-Jorgen.Niewald@holstebro.dk
    +45 21 34 82 46
    Website

    University of Lower Silesia

    Piotr Mikiewicz
    piotr.mikiewicz@dsw.edu.pl
    +50 49 53 312
    Website

    The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

    Fergus Timmons
    fergus.timmons@alzheimer.ie
    +35 3(0)8 67 83 12 37
    Website

    National University of Ireland Galway

    Dympna Casey 
    dympna.casey@nuigalway.ie
    Phone: +35 39 15 24 411 ext. 3652
    Website

     

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