During the COVID-19 pandemic, some home-based family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients became full-time caregivers with little or no help from medical facilities and services due to the risk of viral infection. The challenge that the new full-time family caregivers experience is not only caring for their loved one's daily routines, they also have to protect them from the infection since the weakened health condition and the dementia-related behaviors make AD patients vulnerable to the infection (Alzheimer's Association, n.d.).

To help the new full-time family caregivers to reduce their burden of preventing their loved ones from the infection, this thesis project focused on the design of a cognitive assistive device that integrates monitoring and reminding solutions for the AD patients’ practicing of COVID-19 hygiene measures including hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing. The final output is a personal cognitive robot functioning with a combination of computer vision and machine learning technology.

Firstly, this paper introduces a concept of a cognitive assistive robot that has been developed within the area of eldercare robots. Next, this paper explains the impact of COVID-19 on caregivers and the importance and challenging factors in managing AD patients’ practicing of hygiene measures. Based on the verified user needs, there is a brief overview of existing solutions. After the research part, this paper illustrates three stages of the concept development from the initial to the final stage. As a conclusion, this paper suggests the potential impact of the design and next step of research based on the final concept and user scenario.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Personal robotics--Design and construction; Alzheimer's disease--Patients--Health and hygiene; COVID-19 (Disease)--Transmission--Prevention; Computer vision; Machine learning

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Alex Lobos

Advisor/Committee Member

Lorraine Justice


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes