University of Portsmouth computer project to help older people out

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WORK on an intelligent computerised avatar designed to help older people with health problems has been unveiled by the University of Portsmouth.

RITA – Responsive Interactive Advocate – has been designed by specialists in virtual reality, advanced interactive technologies and animation.

Rita is being developed so she can appear as a figure on a television screen, a tablet, computer or a mobile phone, and is able to monitor heart rate and blood pressure, remind people to take medication and will know if they have fallen over or are in pain and then alert the doctor or the emergency services.

She can also analyse speech, movement and facial expression to detect a person’s mood and respond accordingly.

Dr Wendy Powell said: ‘We have achieved a massive amount in a short time, much of which was done here at Portsmouth.

‘It’s an indicator of the strength of our project team, as well as the animation expertise at Portsmouth, that we have come so far so fast.’