Project: Enabling Social Interaction Through Embodiment

Acronym ExCITE (Reference Number: aal-2009-2-125)
Duration 01/04/2010 - 01/04/2013
Project Topic The proposal for Enabling Social Interaction Through Embodiment (ExCITE) will examine social interaction between elderly in their homes and remotely located persons through robotic telepresence. The two main goals of the proposal are 1. to learn how to improve the quality of life for elderly living at home by enabling social connection through telepresence embodiment, and 2. to begin deployment of a commercial robotic telepresence product within 2-3 years of the study start. The ExCITE project will deploy initial units, gather and evaluate user feedback (both residents and caregivers), modify the prototype according to the feedback and then deploy/re-deploy improved units in a constant feedback process. The prototype called the “Giraffe”, is a mobile, human height physical avatar integrated with a videoconferencing system. It utilizes a general hardware that is specifically designed for rapid modification by allowing many modifications to be implemented in software. The methodology is focused around a strong user inclusion process, evaluating the concept based not upon the technology but on user feedback. The project will advance the stateof-the-art in robotic telepresence technology, but more importantly will focus on and advance the understanding of user requirements and issues for social interaction via telepresence embodiment. The project is founded upon deep understanding of elderly and associated healthcare trends and issues. The Giraffe concept and ExCITE proposal advocates to extend and enhance human presence by enabling social interaction between people separated by distance, thereby taking into account a new generation of global and mobile senior citizens.
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Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - ISTC Italy
Giraff AB Sweden
Örebro City Council Sweden
Örebro University Sweden
RatioConsulta SpA Italy
University of Malaga Spain