Project: Ageing without Losing Mobility and Autonomy

Acronym ALMA (Reference Number: aal-2011-4-124)
Duration 02/04/2013 - 02/10/2016
Project Topic Project ALMA (Ageing without Losing Mobility and Autonomy) has the objective of designing and realizing, in close collaboration with the end-users, a system to aid the mobility of elderly people; including people suffering from motor and/or cognitive impairments. ALMA is targeted towards supporting and restoring the abilities for orientation, navigation, and autonomous mobility: especially in the context of complex environments (e.g., hospitals) where people can easily be overwhelmed. In ALMA's system, the user is provided with a Personal Navigation Assistant: a small and inexpensive portable device (a standard smartphone/tablet with custom software) using which she/he can easily specify a chosen goal (e.g.: a location, a service, a person). The PNA compounds such information with data about the preferences and limitations (physical and/or cognitive) of the user, and issues a request to an Artificial Intelligence system. The AI system has an extensive knowledge of the environment and of the available resources within it, obtained from a set of information and sensor systems. In response to the request from the PNA, it plans a path that will bring the user to her/his goal, keeping into consideration both the actual status of the environment (including anomalous circumstances: e.g., crowds) and -most importantly- the capabilities and preferences of the user. The plan is then sent to the PNA, which helps the user in following it by providing suggestions and by monitoring her/his progress. If unexpected obstacles are encountered, the system transparently modifies the plan so that the user never feels stranded or in difficulty. ALMA's work includes the development of a Personal Mobility Kit: a physically unobtrusive system to turn any commercial electric wheelchair into an autonomous device, capable to assist the user in driving (e.g., avoiding obstacles to prevent collisions) or to autonomously and safely follow a path navigating through heavily dynamic environments.
Network AAL
Call Call 4 – Mobility

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Degonda Rehab SA Switzerland
Clinica Hildebrand Centro di Riabilitazione Brissago Switzerland
Istituti sociali Comune di Chiasso Switzerland
Politecnico di Milano Italy
Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana Switzerland
VCA Technology Ltd United Kingdom
Forschungsstelle Robotrecht, Lst. Strafrecht - University of Wurzburg, Faculty of Law Germany