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Project description

The World Health Organization estimates that, by 2035, health and care services globally will be short of close to 13 million healthcare professionals. Social robots are one way to improve patients’ quality of life and wellbeing, as well as that of their families and healthcare professionals.
Over the next four years, LIFEBOTS Exchange will facilitate exchanges of people and personnel around Europe. As a result, a better understanding will develop of the use of social robots in these care domains:
  • Care as medical practice: given to patients in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres and other medical facilities.
  • Residential care: given to people in care institutions such as elderly people’s homes, nursing homes, special needs schools for children or adults.
  • Family care: an investigation of how social robots can be implemented in the home, and form part of domestic life.

LIFEBOTS Exchange will focus on creating strong interdisciplinarity and cross-sectorial research and innovation. A knowledge hub for social robotics will facilitate the exchange of people/personnel interested in social robots.

The potential for linkage between social robots and artificial intelligence (AI) is a strong possibility.
LIFEBOTS Exchange plays an active role in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange programme. Its incentive is to get researchers and industry players moving around Europe and sharing and understanding their expertise. Two very positive experiences are recounted by Artur Serrano and Natalia Machido. These exchanges provide interesting complements to the work of European twinnings.
LIFEBOTS Exchange is led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The project involves researchers and personnel from small- and medium-sized enterprises from countries ranging from as wide as Portugal, Romania and Slovakia, as well as South Korea.

In 2020, the work of LIFEBOTS Exchange in Norway was expanded by involving nine Norwegian small- and medium-sized enterprisesThe initiative is called LEE.


EHTEL's role

Despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19, EHTEL continues to work with the project coordinator NTNU, which is also closely associated with EHTEL member Norwegian Centre for eHealth Research. EHTEL aims to ensure that there is a solid exchange of information between the project and EHTEL’s members. It is important to understand better what social robots are and what benefits they can have for European society and European industry. This topic was included in EHTEL’s 2019 Symposium.

The project held some highly interesting presentations on its progress, as part of the vCare Final Conference event, in Brussels, on 29-30 August 2022Watch the conference videos below.

The LIFEBOTS Exchange project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 824047.


***For more information visit the project website***

Participating Members


  • confirmed funding of LIFEBOTS-Exchange-Extended (LEE) 11 March 2020 PDF*