In this paper we present the design and technical implementation of a web based Multi-Modal User Interface (MMUI) tailored for elderly users of the robotic services developed by the EU FP7 Large-Scale Integration Project Robot-Era. The project partners are working to significantly enhance the performance and acceptability of technological services for ageing well by delivering a fully realized system based on the cooperation of multiple heterogeneous robots and with the support of an Ambient Assisted Living environment. To this end, elderly users were involved in the definition of the services and in the design of the hardware and software of the robotic platforms from the first stages of the development process and in real experimentation in two test sites. In particular, here we detail the interface software system for multi-modal elderly-robot interaction. The MMUI is designed to run on any device including touch-screen mobiles and tablets that are preferred by the elderly. This is obtained by integrating web based solutions with the Robot-Era middlewares and planner. Finally we present some preliminary results of ongoing experiments to show the successful evaluation of usability by potential users and to discuss the future directions to improve the proposed MMUI software system.
Di Nuovo, A., Broz, F., Belpaeme, T., Cangelosi, A., Cavallo, F., Esposito, R., & Dario, P. (2014). A web based multi-modal interface for elderly users of the robot-era multi-robot services. In Conference Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (Vol. 2014-January, pp. 2186–2191). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. https://doi.org/10.1109/smc.2014.6974248