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GrowMeUp Report Summary

Project ID: 643647
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GrowMeUp (GrowMeUp)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In GrowMeUp we propose the development of an affordable robotic platform, whose purpose is to increase the years of independence, active living and the quality of life of older persons with light physical or mental health problems who live alone at home. The system will be able to learn older persons needs and habits over time to enhance existing or learn new services, with the purpose of efficiently compensate for older persons capabilities degradation and to gradually adapt its interaction over time. There are 4 key innovation areas in the project: 1) the use of cloud technologies; 2) Behavior and emotional understanding; 3) Intelligent Dialoguing; 4) personalized care through the use of a virtual care team network (CoRobo-Net). The system will be introduced early enough to the elderly, with the aim of creating a positive long-term relationship between the older person and the robot, considering friends, family and caregivers as active collaborators with whom the robot can interact with. This link will allow increasing the knowledge about the user it is serving. The robot will be connected to a virtual care network that will provide for continuous care, but also motivation and education to the older persons of how to best use the platform.

The main objectives of the first key innovation addressing Cloud Technologies are:
• To enable different robots to share knowledge continuously and extend their capabilities with reduced effort;
• To capitalize on information made available from other robots, from the elderly or from caregivers themselves;
• To reduce the computational burden on the robot, relieving more demanding tasks to the robot.

The main objectives of the second key innovation on Behavior and Emotional Understanding are:
• To create a scalable and adaptable mathematical model of the elderly typical behavior;
• To enable the system to predict and identify erroneous situations, triggering timely and appropriate services;
• To empower elderly people with a better management of their lives;
• To understand the elderly and provide adequate motivation and guidance on their daily tasks;

The main objectives of the third key innovation on Intelligent Dialoguing are:
• To enable older people to effortlessly and intuitively interact with the system using natural dialogues;
• To understand elderly and use context information so that the robot is able to adapt its interaction and discourse;
• To increase the acceptance by elderly people;

The main objectives of the fourth key innovation on personalized care are:
• To provide a set of services that are served differently to all users, according to their preferences and profiles;
• To create a positive long-term relationship between the elderly and the robot, empowering the older person with a personalized robot companion and assistant;
• To foster the integration of the older person within its social circles through the virtual care team network.

The GrowMeUp project is based on strongly interdisciplinary research. All participants in the GrowMeUp consortium (Figure 1) collaborate in a variety of complementary national and international networks, including EU funded projects. These networks and collaborations will provide a platform for the continuous exchange of cutting-edge results and novel ideas in these research areas. Moreover, members of the consortium have bilateral collaborations with (non-) European research groups and companies. This illustrates that the present project will be embedded in a broad research network of on-going collaborations on topics of high relevance to the proposed project.

Figure 1: GrowMeUp Consortium at Zuyderland Facilities during the Kick-Off Meeting

Pre-research connections will be strengthened and solidified by the present project. This represents a starting advantage. The project aims to collaborate with a number of other R&D projects working in related areas. We will actively monitor progress in these and other international and European projects to see what possibilities exist for collaboration and reuse of research results in the research areas of GrowMeUp. On the other hand, there will be a significant contribution of GrowMeUp, which we will offer to other running or future projects in our area of research.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We have already a four prototypes of the robotic platform running at elderly homes, two in Portugal and two in the Netherlands (Caritas and Zuyderland end-users respectively). The first version of the Cloud Knowledge-base is already working at University of Cyprus servers, which exposes all necessary methods to interact with the database, but also some of the services such as medication and agenda management or notifications. The SocialRobot platform (developed within a EU Marie Curie IAPP action, the SocialRobot project, GA: 285870) has been enhanced to accommodate the requirements of the GrowMeUp project. The enhancements made on the platform itself are divided in three different areas of intervention: 1) aesthetic; 2) Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) hardware; 3) External Sensor Networks connecting to the robot. Bellow, the GrowMeUp robotic platform is illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: GrowMeUp robotic platform external appearance.

The robotic platform is equipped with an intelligent dialoguing system that allows elderly to interact with the robot in an effortless and natural fashion. We are currently testing the robot dialogue interface with the Google API for speech recognition and the Cerevoice speech synthesizer that are currently being used in both Portuguese and Dutch languages with positive feedback from users. The robot is able to perceive users emotion from facial expressions and from analyzing specific words in their discourse, which trigger different responses from the system to the user, allowing it to provide different services from the following categories: Care & Wellness, Guidance and Education/Leisure. Other information coming from an external sensor network, from the cloud knowledge base and from the robot itself is also taken into consideration in the process of understanding the elderly behavior. This understanding is enabled thanks to a set of learning mechanisms that allow the robot to learn new objects, behaviour routines and algorithms for detecting falls or selecting appropriate services from the cloud. This makes the robot equipped to respond specifically to each older persons needs according to her/his preferences and needs.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The main goal of the GrowMeUp project is to increase the independence and quality of life of elderly persons at their homes, with three main socio-economic impacts: 1) increase the usability and acceptance of ICT robotic technologies by society in general and the ageing population in particular; 2) increase the sustainability of the care system by providing a system that is expected to optimize the need for care support and to help elderly people to live independently and be active until latter stages of their lives; 3) create and promote new products and services within different market segments within the AAL domain, where the 3 industry partners have specific interests in different outcomes of the project. More specifically PAL robotics in the area of social robotic platforms, Citard Services within the area of ICT service provisions and cloud technologies and finally ProbaYes is interested in entering the AAL market with learning algorithms applicable to different AAL systems. The robotic platform has already been introduced to the participant end-user institutions and to some of the participating elderly. We have showed then different interactive demonstrations and there are very enthusiastic in using the system and see it as a positive introduction to their lives and living styles (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Robots working at each of the end-users.

Please visit our project public website:

List of partners and main contacts:

UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA (Coordinator) - Jorge Dias / GrowMeUp Management - /

UNVERSITY OF GENEVA - Dimitri Konstantas -

ZUYDERLAND- Cindy Wings -


PAL ROBOTICS - Francesco Ferro -

PROBAYES - Kamel Mekhnacha -

CITARD SERVICES LTD. - Eleni Christodoulou -

CARITAS - Carina Dantas -

Related information

Record Number: 190024 / Last updated on: 2016-11-03
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