Researchers from Bedfordshire are hoping to create 'culturally aware' robots which could help care for older people.
Academics from the county's university say they could potentially relieve pressures in hospitals and the care industry.
They're working with the Pepper Robot developed by French company Aldebaran .
Professor Irena Papadopoulos, expert in trans-cultural nursing, said:
"As people live longer, health systems are put under increasing pressure. In the UK alone, 15,000 people are over 100 years of age and this figure will only increase.Assistive, intelligent robots for older people could relieve pressures in hospitals and care homes as well as improving care delivery at home and promoting independent living for the elderly."
The £2million project will last for three years and will involve specialist researchers from all over the world and will expand the capabilities of the Pepper robot.
The robot is already widely used throughout Japan.