AI-based Robot Support System to Benefit Ageing Well

VicarVision was rewarded a grant from the Active and Assisted Living Programme to promote healthy aging. In this greying society leveraging technology to support active and healthy aging to reduce the risk of (mental) health problems is challenging but promising. We will develop our emotion analysis software to function on a robot platform. The goal of the robot platform is to deliver adaptive personal behaviour change suggestions that promote well-being.

Project Objectives

Active and healthy aging includes promoting physical health for mobility and independence, but also mental health for well-being and high quality of life. There is a wide array of lifestyle interventions that could benefit healthy aging if delivered in the most effective way. A key technology that could help older adults in their home environment is a robot platform that delivers adaptive personal behaviour change suggestions promoting well-being. Recent robots for older users are usually simple systems primarily combating loneliness or performing specific tasks (e.g. taking medications). Or complex systems aimed at larger health care organizations. Our aim is to develop software that can run on a personal robot and have intuitive interactions based on the emotional state of the user. With the help of Salzburg Research, we will develop decision trees and integrate behavior interventions. Sigmund Freud University will be key in developing the scenario’s and ethical requirements. In addition, we have three end-user organizations, Happy Aging (Belgium), KempenLife (NL), and 50plus (Austria), to help in cocreation research and piloting the robot.

Expected Results

With this project, we intend to create an AI-based emotion detection behaviour change personal robot support system (ROSS). With a strong focus on end-user requirements, we will find the best way to develop ROSS to benefit the older user. Emotion recognition will go further than basic emotions by including complex emotions and longer mood states based on arousal and valence levels. This will ultimately allow for more empathic and beneficial human-robot interactions. The innovative nature of AID2BeWell lies in 1) the strong end-user focus and involvement, 2) beyond the state of the art AI emotion and mood recognition, and 3) the integration of Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs). This project could be the key to bringing affordable social robots to the market to help people age well.

For more information on the project and the final deliverables see the project website: There is also information on the results of the robot health project in our blog. Last, but definitely not least, we are very happy to have started a follow-up project: Buddy-BeWell.

AAL Call 2021