Use of a Mini Robot as a new approach for cognitive and social stimulation in home care

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Spain Spain IDES

Early Stage Researcher (ESR13)

Photo of Aysan Mahmoudi Asl

Aysan Mahmoudi Asl

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Prof Manuel Franco Martín

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Dr Henriëtte van der Roest 

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Hi, I am Aysan, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Iran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. I have been engaged in research and work areas of Cognitive Rehabilitation and Dementia in elderly adults for 5 years, gaining clinical experience in Mental and Dementia rehabilitation. I believe the DISTINCT project is going to be a rewarding experience for us, opening new doors of solution for Dementia care.

Upon conducting my thesis in master’s degree, which aimed to validate latest dementia and cognitive assessment tools in elderly adults, I felt a great importance for researches with more clinical applicability in the real world for a real issue. Therefore, my research interest lies in cognitive technology and assistive devices with a purpose of enhancing quality of life and independency in daily living of Dementia cases.

Start date December 2019
Duration 36 months


To develop and adapt a new Mini robot for people over 65 and people with dementia The robot is small (easy for move to different places). To analyse the interactions between the robot and elderly persons (with dementia) and to apply a usability study in a living lab for older people. To promote and support the interactions between old people and environment (social participation). To perform a small pilot project about the usability of the robot and efficacy in terms of mood and cognitive skills. Improvement of the main features of the robot.

Expected Results

An evidence base for the efficacy and usability of the Mini Robot in a home environment for improving mood and social skills of older people or people with mild cognitive decline due to mild dementia. Mini Robot can be useful to counteract loneliness and mood symptoms for older people, mainly for people living at home. Improve the usability of social robots for older people. Develop new research projects using robot technology in older people.

Planned secondment(s)

Two for 3 months each. The first in year one with CVUT to help integrate the technologies developed in Prague with the robot developed in the IBSAL and sharing methodologies for researching in new technologies and robots. The second in year 3 at Saxion to test the robot in an environment with a different care context and a conduct a usability study of the robot in the Netherlands.



  1. Mahmoudi, A., van der Roest, H.G., Molinari Ulate, M., & Franco Martin, M.A. (2021, July 26-30). Methodologies used to study the effectiveness of social robots in long-term and community care settings [Poster presentation]. 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Virtual, Denver, USA
  2. Molinari Ulate, M.*, Mahmoudi, A., Parra Vidales, E., Muñoz Sánchez, J.L., Franco Martin, M.A., & van der Roest, H.G. (2021, July 26-30). Comprehensive Geriatric Assessments for long-term and home care settings and digital platforms available to support their applicability: A Systematic Review [Poster presentation]. 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Virtual, Denver, USA (*presenting author)