The CompanionAble Project, led by Professor Atta Badii, ISR Director, University of Reading, was selected as one of only two initiatives from amongst 50 “star innovation projects” to be shown to the EU President Jose Manuel Barroso and the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Marie Geoghegan-Quinn, at the European Innovation Convention in Brussels, December 5-6, 2011.

One of the stars of the project, Hector the Companion Robot, welcomed the EU delegation to the stand where Professor Atta Badii demonstrated some of Hector's capabilities as an assistive companion robot.

Some of the care support facilities including diary management, aide memoire services, for example reminders for taking medicines on time, and, setting up video-conferencing sessions were demonstrated to the EU president and the Commissioner. Professor Atta Badii also demonstrated the fall detection capabilities of the system and explained how in emergencies, such as a fall, Hector could help the remote control centre assess how serious the fall is and what kind of emergency help may be needed.

President Barroso asked about the extent of industrial participation for exploitation; Professor Atta Badii explained that several industrial Partners were involved within the CompanionAble project and through Innovation Partnerships, Hector's selected capabilities could be adopted as ready-to-integrate ‘Plug-and-Perform' Companion Robot solutions offered to suit various home settings to support assisted independent living.

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The EC President and the Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science visit The CompanionAble stand at the European Innovation Convention 5th December 2011, Professor Atta Badii and Hector the CompanionAble Robot greet the visitors and demonstrate some of Hector’s capabilities.