Robot supports older people with communication

Robot supports older people with communicationScientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) want to equip the helper so that it makes easy to use even complex media. The goal: even if they are housebound, older people are to maintain their social contacts and prevent isolation and can train cognitive abilities.

“Call my daughter!” Maybe the old man forgot the number or misplaced the phone; maybe he is also fallen and can not help them. ALIAS (Adaptable Ambient Living Assistant) needs to worry – it helps in any case. Because the robot sees the senior and establishes the connection to the desired contact person. Today ALIAS is a figure head, wheels, and PC. He actually domestic assistant, is it the TUM researchers will equip the next few years with software and controls – in the belief that “can help social robot” with the challenges of demographic change in Europe. “Many older people want as long as possible to remain living at home, even if they are limited in their physical or mental abilities,” says project coordinator Prof. Frank Well-off the Institute for Human-Machine Communication. “Of course they want to keep from there to contact their family, friends or facilities where they live. We want to improve their communication skills in their everyday lives and thus their autonomy. “

ALIAS will not only enable phone calls. In chats and social networks is to enhance the user can move. An e-card or to compete in an online game will be too easy. And on call ALIAS reads from the newspaper or translated from other languages. To make possible the ease of use include a speech recognition system and a touch screen with large fields – keyboard, mouse, and phones with small buttons and displays to be unnecessary. Later, a remote health monitoring could also be developed which provides users with additional security.

Presented is the development project of 15 to 17 September at the AAL Forum in Odense, Denmark. The Europe of 20 states, the EU and company launched AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) has aims to improve the quality of life of older people, while the industrial base of Europe through the use of information and communication technology. AAL supports the development of ALIAS in the next three years with € 3.87 million.

At the forum to the TUM-scientist with a questionnaire to collect proposals from both nurses and relatives of older people as well as equipment manufacturers and health insurance, what features should dominate ALIAS. Not least are the potential users even from the start will be asked for their wishes and during test development, the operation of ALIAS? Prof. Susanne Ibsen TUM Department of Gender Studies in Engineering will also support the project with ethical and gender studies.

An alias is also with the Technical University Ilmenau and Eurecom two other research institutions, the five companies Cognesys, Guger Technologies, MetraLabs, Synergisms and House, and the end-user organization involved PME family service. Thus, together specialists from four European countries for human-machine communication, dialog systems, content management, data search and navigation as well as an autonomous robot makers and sociologists. At TUM ALIAS is associated with the cluster of excellence Cognition for Technical Systems (CoTeSys). Here, research scientists Munich in how humanoid robots, autonomous vehicles and autonomous controlled factories to learn independently and communicate with humans.


Prof. Frank Well-off (Coordinator)
Technical University of Munich
Institute for Human-Machine Communication (Prof. Gerhard Rigoll)
Tel: +49 89 289 2573 4 / 7708 3738 +49,441

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