With increasing age most people develop limitations in their motor abilities. Even at a rather mild level this results in difficulties and uncertainty in performing basic motor abilities. Fear of falling and the risk of actually falling itself may become a reason why daily activities become problematic and lead to dependency on human care. To a certain extent care can be provided at home (extramural care) but from a certain point moving the person to a care facility (intramural care) becomes required to ensure sufficient support in performing everyday activities such as visiting the toilet, washing oneself and moving around.
In general, people prefer to live and age in their own home as long as possible. In western European countries the publically funded care system provides support for all who need this, but demographic changes and economic decline forces nations to reconsider the level of care provision. This is another reason why aging in place is to be preferred. A resulting substantial increase in demand for extramural care will nevertheless create a need for human support that cannot be solved with traditional formal and informal human care. The solution proposed in this tender will create substantial health care cost reductions as it will support elderly and handicapped people to live at home without the need for human care.
The foreseen “HelpingHand” is an intelligent robot arm providing support on the moment that the person is losing stability and fears falling or could actually fall. It follows passively all user's movements and gets active (“freezes”) in user's instable situations or when the user gives the ´freeze command´ himself; the robotic device then becomes a stiff support. HelpingHand is designed such that an inexperienced user can make use of the robot intuitively. It takes away the insecure feeling of instability during complex tasks for elderly and handicapped people, wherein a person's hands and full attention are needed an activity. It supports in all bathroom activities and completely eliminates the help of a care taker. The HelpingHand robot arm will be fixed on the bathroom walls with minimum installation costs. In principle, the robotic solution could also be applied in supporting daily tasks in other parts of the house, to solve similar issues with stability.

Important note: Severe issues where encountered with filling in the financial numbers in the given template. Therefore, the numbers are also provided as a separate attachment; see Appendix C .

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