LEGO Mindstorms
Assisted Living with LEGO Mindstorms

Every year Sentinus in conjunction with EngineeringUK runs a schools based Team R&D competition with local schools, and this year Aquinus Diocesan Grammar School have partnered with researchers in the nanotechnology and integrated bioengineering centre at the university of Ulster to develop robotics systems for Assisted Living and Remote Monitoring
When individuals, such as the elderly or disabled are unable to perform the basic tasks taken for granted by the majority of people their lives become increasingly difficult. These tasks could include reaching high objects, opening cans of food or even dispensing medicines.
In order to alleviate this difficulty, a solution called assisted living and remote monitoring has been developed. This describes the use of robotics and sensor technology in the home / care environment and allow for a greater degree of independence by the person involved, whilst also allowing for the careers to monitor and assist the person from a distance.


Their project is concerned with developing a feedback sensory system based around the LEGO™ Mindstorms™ robotics package which responds to stimuli from the person requiring care and performs an appropriate series of actions in order to improve the quality of live experienced by that person. The system is designed to function with two components, a localised receiver device which will record the stimui and which will then relay the instructions via a Bluetooth connection to a remote robotic system that will perform the desired actions.

The LEGO™ Mindstorms™ system was chosen as it allows inexperienced programmers to easily develop hardware and software solutions based on the LabVIEW graphical programming environment.


The team comprising of five Y12 students working under school supervision from Mrs Mary Hoben and Mr John Duffy developed the robotics system and programmed the robot with guidance from Dr Abbes Amira (Reader) and Dr Richard Holmes (Research Fellow), and successfully demonstrated a customizable system. Along with the robotics project, the team is developing a detailed report on the implementation of their system into a real-world setting.

They presented their work at the Sentinus Team R&D event on 12th April 2011 at Queen’s University, and as a result obtained a CREST Gold Award for their hard work.