3Spheres Robotics Project Adds New Partner

JDQ Systems is pleased to announce a new research and development collaboration with the Autonomous and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (AISL) at the School of Mechatronics Systems of SFU.  JDQ along with AISL, the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA), UBC Department of Computer Science and BCIT, have established a partnership to design and prototype a 3Spheres™ Collaborative Service Robot, using existing and new technology, by June 2018.  Supported by an NSERC Engage grant, an SFU Professor and his PhD students will reinforce the 3Spheres Robotics project team with the objective of designing and building a robot that can help people with disabilities reach their personal goals and achieve greater independence.

In the course of an on-going PhD project, a multi-modal robotic system has been designed and implemented at AISL. The  focus of research at this stage is resolving  unique challenges of identifying people in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. To recognize a person with maximum confidence, the robot must be able to use a multi-modal approach. Early research suggests that a fusion of human face, speech and pose recognition will be required by robots that can successfully interact with humans.

According to Dr. Ahmad Rad, Professor and Associate Director, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at SFU, “The AISL studies selected areas within the emerging field of autonomous systems. This collaboration with JDQ and DDA is promising and we expect to contribute new research to the design of systems that assist persons with developmental disabilities.”

“The SFU team will be a great addition to the project,” Jon Morris, President of JDQ Systems says: “The unique identification of clients and staff in the DDA group home is a fundamental use case for our robot and a multi-modal approach makes a lot of sense.”

“The Developmental Disabilities Association is very excited to support these exceptional SFU faculty and PhD students to contribute to the lives and independence of vulnerable people through technology,” says Alanna Hendren, DDA Executive Director, “Part of the beauty of this project is the involvement of the Federal government, private business, the non-profit, charitable sector, individuals with developmental disabilities, and students and faculty from institutions of advanced learning like SFU.  Together, dramatic progress is possible as we work to include more people with intellectual challenges into mainstream society by doing the research that allows us to applying new technology in creative ways to alleviate centuries-old problems.”

The SFU mechatronics experts join a team that already includes resources from the UBC Department of Computer Science and JDQ’s own robotics development team. The 3Spheres Robotics Project consortium is interested in engaging new partners that can contribute to the project in a meaningful way.  Please contact Jon Morris, jonm@jdq.com or 604.876.1422 for more information.



About Developmental Disabilities Association

Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) is a non-profit association which supports children and adults with developmental disabilities, enabling them to realize their full potential through new opportunities, personal choice, and community involvement.  www.develop.bc.ca

About SFU School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering

SFU’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering is fully focused on being a world-leading research and educational mechatronics engineering program with an emphasis on practical-oriented training, rich industrial partnerships and dynamic entrepreneurial intelligence. The School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering fosters this approach through increasingly multidisciplinary methods and a highly engaged research faculty.  www.sfu.ca/mechatronics.html


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