You are here

Robot-Assisted Cognitive Training for Socially Isolated Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R42AG060800-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42AG060800
Amount: $3,980,504.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PAR17-107
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-05-31
Small Business Information
Loretto, MN 55357-9536
United States
DUNS: 080808144
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (404) 308-4523
Business Contact
Phone: (612) 470-9532
Research Institution
ATHENS, GA 30602-1589
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

This project will develop a Socially-Assistive Robot (SAR) to provide cognitive training, in the form of learning
to play the piano, to improve cognitive functioning and reduce feelings of loneliness in socially-isolated older
adults. The SAR will administer cognitive training via guided practice on a set of standard piano lesson tasks
designed to reflect particular cognitive functions: memory, attention, language, and social acuity. The goals of
this project are that the SAR will (1) engage the persons with mild cognitive impairment (PMCI) in skill-building
cognitive music training; (2) enhance cognitive functioning, in particular verbal and visual memory, reasoning
ability, and complex attention; and (3) reduce feelings of loneliness. This SAR can be used as both a
personalized social companion and an interactive tutor to deliver customized training for cognitive functioning
and social engagement. We have assembled a strong multidisciplinary team of computer scientists, roboticists,
engineers, human factors specialists, neuroscientists, and gerontologists, well suited to achieve goals.Dementia is a costly chronic disease; an estimated $259 billion was spent in 2017 for health care, long-term
care, and out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, social isolation is a problem many older adults face, with 1 in 3
older adults reporting loneliness in the United States. Socially assistive robotics (SARs) have the potential to
provide mental and social engagement – especially for those older adults who may lack social connections. In
particular, SARs can utilize machine learning to provide customized and socially-engaging cognitive training for
lonely older adults with MCI.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government