SCOTS with mobility issues could soon receive a helping hand in the form of assisted-living robots.

Welcoming visitors to the home, turning the oven off and fetching reading glasses are just some of the tasks being tackled by prototype machines.

Over the last few years, researchers have been developing the robots with a view to helping older or disabled people within a care setting.

It is hoped the advancements can improve the quality of life for many of those in Scotland.

With the refining of the technology continuing apace, Europe’s most advanced assisted-living robots were showcased during an international tournament at Heriot-Watt University, last week.

Academics from across the continent battled it out in the European Robotics League Service Robot Challenge (ERL).

The competition took place in the University’s custom-built, 60-square-metre, real-life living laboratory, with researchers testing robots which could revolutionise the healthcare and social care sectors.

The universities used the event to evaluate the performance of the robots in a home setting, and to further enhance the important research.

Dr Mauro Dragone, assistant professor at the school of engineering and physical sciences, said: “Robotic competitions such as the ERL offer a unique opportunity to break down real-work challenges into a competition similar to the UEFA Champions League.

“This is exciting for robotics scientists, the industry and the general public, alike.

“This tournament is the ideal way to compare and evaluate the performance of different robotic systems of service robots.

"Robots are set to revolutionise our economy and society over the next 20 years as they start to work for us and beside us, assisting us and interacting with us."