Skip to main content
This research theme will investigate the interaction and integration of technology, smart design, social robotics and the built environment with individuals and society to address the challenges and opportunities of ageing. The Institute will translate research to produce innovations that support health and wellness, self-care, social engagement, and mobility.

This theme also encompasses the Ageing Well, Ageing in Place project - a technological approach to supporting, monitoring and delivering services for optimal ageing at home.

Current Projects

2020 UNSW Ageing Futures Seed Funding Projects

Lead Investigator: Dr Lidan Zheng | Co-lead investigators: Dr Jane Hwang, Dr Scott Brown

The Autism ASSIST project will develop and evaluate a smart home platform for older people on the autism spectrum, increasing independence in activities of daily living. This novel and timely project brings together autism researchers, human-computer interaction researchers and an industry partner to create a translatable solution for the everyday challenges faced by older adults on the autism spectrum.
Lead investigator: Dr Yoshiro Okubo | Co-lead investigator: Prof Nigel Lovell

This study aims to develop and use an augmented reality (AR) system to examine hazard recognition and hazard avoidance during everyday life scenarios in older people with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We will also examine if older people with and without MCI can rapidly adapt when exposure to hazards are repeated. Findings will provide valuable insight into why people with MCI are at greater risk of falling and for the development of fall prevention strategies for these populations.
2019 UNSW Ageing Futures Seed Funding Projects

Lead Investigator: Professor Lisa Keay

This project aims to develop and pilot an evidence-based education program to increase competency and confidence in use of advanced vehicle technologies (AVT) among older drivers.
Lead investigator: Dr Michael Stevens

This research activity involves the development of the next generation of wearable fall detectors for persons living with dementia (PLWD), which will incorporate energy expenditure monitoring and will be integrated with an existing smart home infrastructure. Researchers from UNSW at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering (GSBmE), alongside falls and ageing researchers at NeuRA, have developed wearable fall detection technology (called Neon) over the last ten years. The proposed research activity will involve updating the Neon, in the following ways: - Incorporate energy expenditure monitoring into the Neon, to identify trends in patient activity over time. This can be used to identify whether the condition of PLWD is deteriorating. - Update communication protocol of the Neon, from older proprietary radio protocols to modern tools (Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee), enabling it to communicate with a wider range of off-the-shelf smartphone, smartwatch and smart home devices, widening the potential pool of deployment. This stage requires the employment/ outsourcing of an embedded software engineer for 3 months. - Collaborate with industry partner VitalCare, involving them in the design process to ensure technologies would also be appropriate for assisted living and ageing-in-place facilities. - Integrate Neon into a smart home system for PLWD, developed collaboratively by researchers at the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications (EET), GSBmE, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing and NeuRA. This will be completed by the investigators. - With the aid of thesis and PhD students perform a small pilot trial of the Neon in the homes of carers of PLWD, to assess usability.
Lead Investigator: People, Technology and Creativity
Mari Velonaki is a Professor of Social Robotics at the Faculty of Art & Design, UNSW. She is the founder and director of the Creative Robotics Lab and the founder and director of the National Facility for Human Robot Interaction Research. Mari Velonaki’s research is situated in the multi-disciplinary field of Social Robotics, which is informed by aesthetics and design principles that stem from the theory and practice of Interactive Media Art. Velonaki began working as a media artist/researcher in the field of responsive environments and interactive interface design in 1997. She pioneered experimental interfaces that incorporate movement, speech, touch, breath, electrostatic charge, artificial vision and robotics, allowing for the development of haptic and immersive relationships between participants and interactive agents. She is the recipient of several competitive grants, including ARC Discovery, Linkage, LIEF an ARC Fellowship, an Australia Council of the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship, Australia-Japan Foundation, Fuji Xerox Innovation, AOARD.