Skip to main content

Unit information: Assistive Robotics (UWE UFMFSR-15-M) in 2020/21

Unit name Assistive Robotics (UWE UFMFSR-15-M)
Unit code EMATM0059
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Caleb-Solly
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Assistive robotics is increasingly becoming recognised as a potential enabler in helping people improve their quality of life and live independently, particularly in later life.

According to a recent business report, the assistive robotics market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 21% over the forecast period of 2019-2024.

This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of assistive robotics. Starting with understanding a range of typical assistive scenarios and robots, together with the associated human physical, sensory and cognitive conditions and disabilities that need to be considered when designing and deploying such systems, you will also gain knowledge of key areas within robotics that are core to realising assistive robotic solutions.

The practical sessions for this module, which will contribute to the coursework assignment and run in parallel to the lecture sessions, will involve working in teams on a mobile robot platform to achieve an assistive task. Each sub-group within a team will focus on a specific functionality to achieve the task, such as human-robot interaction, scene analysis, person recognition, navigation, object recognition, grasping and manipulation, culminating in integrating the different functions to realise the overall task. This will give you the opportunity of developing and applying in-depth knowledge and skills in a specific area of interest as related to assistive robotics, but also understanding the scope of the different fundamental areas and the pragmatic challenges of working on a real-world assistive task

  • Introduction to Assistive Robotics

  • Understanding Physical, Sensory and Cognitive Disabilities and Long-term conditions
    • International Classification of Disability and Clinical Frailty Index
    • Assistive Technology Assessment Process Model and Basic Definitions
    • Human Factors and Ergonomics

  • Accessible Human-Robot Interaction Design and Evaluation
    • Universal Design Principles and Accessible Interaction Devices and Methods
    • Participatory Design Methodology and challenges
    • Inclusive evaluation approaches

  • Socially and Physically Assistive Robots
    • Review of State-of-the-art
    • Critical evaluation of scope, function and fundamental challenges

  • Rehabilitation Robotics, Prosthetics and Exoskeletons
    • Review of the State-of-the-art
    • Materials and Adaptable form factors (including soft robotics and wearables)

  • Interdisciplinary Aspects of Assistive Robot Design, Development and Deployment
    • Health and social care professionals – roles and responsibilities
    • Current care provision and contexts
    • Role of product design and aesthetics – user acceptance models

  • Intelligent Sensing and Instrumentation in a Health Context
    • Invasive and non-invasive sensing
    • Biometric, physiological and environmental sensing
    • Approaches for temporal data analysis and learning

  • Safety – Methods, Standards, Regulations and Regulatory bodies in Health and Social Care
    • Review of existing standards (ISO13482, ISO421, BS8611, ISO17069)
    • NICE – role and guidelines, MHRA, Care Quality Commission
    • Hazard Analysis and Safety Assessment methods (ESHA, FMECA, OSHA)
  • Ethical and Legal issues in Assistive Robotics
    • This session will be organised as a series of min-debates, with students provided with key papers and guidelines in advance to develop an understanding of the ethical and legal concerns for a selection of assertive scenarios.

  • Rethinking Assistive Robots
    • Internet of Robotic Things
    • Robotic furniture and objects Scheduled Learning includes lectures and practical laboratory sessions Independent Learning includes time spent on essential and further reading, coding and testing in the practical sessions, completion of the coursework assignment and exam preparation. concerns for a selection of assistive scenarios.

Intended learning outcomes

Refer to UWE unit level guidance.

Teaching details

Refer to UWE unit level guidance.

Assessment Details

Refer to UWE unit level guidance.

Reading and References