Archive for the ‘ambient assisted living’ Category

Social Robots @ PETRA 18: Paper & Workshop

Korn, Oliver; Bieber, Gerald & Fron, Christian

Perspectives on Social Robots. From the Historic Background to an Experts’ View on Future Developments

In: PETRA ’18 Proceedings of the 11th Int. Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2018


Text on ResearchGate (after June 27)



Social robots are robots interacting with humans not only in collaborative settings, but also in personal settings like domestic services and healthcare. Some social robots simulate feelings (companions) while others just help lifting (assistants). However, they often incite both fascination and fear: what abilities should social robots have and what should remain exclusive to humans?

  • We provide a historical background on the development of robots and related machines (1)
  • discuss examples of social robots (2)
  • and present an expert study on their desired future abilities and applications (3)
    conducted within the Forum of the European Active and Assisted Living Programme (AAL).

The findings indicate that most technologies required for the social robots’ emotion sensing are considered ready. For care robots, the experts approve health-related tasks like drawing blood while they prefer humans to do nursing tasks like washing. On a larger societal scale, the acceptance of social robots increases highly significantly with familiarity, making health robots and even military drones more acceptable than sex robots or child companion robots for childless couples. Accordingly, the acceptance of social robots seems to decrease with the level of face-to-face emotions involved.


The work is presented on June 27 – 29 at PETRA 18 (PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments).
In addition, we will host a Workshop on Social Robots.

Strategies for Playful Design when Gamifying Rehabilitation

Korn, Oliver; Tietz, Stefan:

Strategies for Playful Design when Gamifying Rehabilitation. A Study on User Experience

In: PETRA ’17 Proceedings of the 10h Int. Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2017, pp. 209-214

DOI = [to be published]

Text on ResearchGate


Gamifying rehabilitation is an efficient way to improve motivation and exercise frequency. However, between flow theory, self-determination theory or Bartle’s player types there is much room for speculation regarding the mechanics required for successful gamification, which in turn leads to increased motivation. For our study, we selected a gamified solution for motion training (an exergame) where the playful design elements are extremely simple.

The contribution is three-fold: we show best practices from the state of the art, present a study analyzing the effects of simple gamification mechanics on a quantitative and on a qualitative level and discuss strategies for playful design in therapeutic movement games.


The paper has been presented on June 23 at PETRA ’17, the 10th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments.

Gamification in der Produktion – Anforderungen und Potenziale

Korn, Oliver; Vauderwangem, Oliver:

Gamification in der Produktion – Anforderungen und Potenziale

In: Henke, Michael & Kaczmarek, Sandra (Eds.): Gamification in der Logistik. Effektiv und spielend zu mehr Erfolg,  Huss, München, 50-77


Gamification, die spielerische Anreicherung von Tätigkeiten, erfreut sich zunehmender Beliebtheit. Insbesondere in den Bereichen Gesundheit (Exergames) oder Lernen (Serious Games, Edutainment) gibt es eine Vielzahl erfolgreicher Anwendungen. Weniger verbreitet ist Gamification dagegen bislang bei Arbeitsprozessen. Zwar gibt es erfolgreiche Ansätze im Bereich Dienstleistung und Service (z. B. bei Callcentern), der Bereich der industriellen Produktion wurde jedoch bis vor wenigen Jahren nicht adressiert.

Dieses Kapitel gibt einen Überblick der Entwicklung von Gamification und zeigt den Stand der Technik. Wir leiten allgemeine Anforderungen für Gamification im Produktionsumfeld ab und stellen zwei neue Ansätze aus der aktuellen Forschung vor. Diese werden in einer Studie mit Trainern aus der Automobilbranche auf Akzeptanz untersucht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen eine insgesamt positive Haltung zur Gamifizierung der Produktion und eine sehr hohe Akzeptanz insbesondere des Pyramiden-Designs.

Designing a System for Playful Coached Learning in the STEM Curriculum

Korn, Oliver; Rees Adrian, Dix, Alan:

Educational Playgrounds: How Context-aware Systems Enable Playful Coached Learning

In: SmartLearn ’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Workshop on Intelligent Interfaces for Ubiquitous and Smart Learning, pp. 31-37

DOI = 10.1145/3038535.3038538

Text on ResearchGate


We present the design outline of a context-aware interactive system for smart learning in the STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It is based on a gameful design approach and enables “playful coached learning” (PCL): a learning process enriched by gamification but also close to the learner’s activities and emotional setting.

After a brief introduction on related work, we describe the technological setup, the integration of projected visual feedback and the use of object and motion recognition to interpret the learner’s actions. We explain how this combination enables rapid feedback and why this is particularly important for correct habit formation in practical skills training. In a second step, we discuss gamification methods and analyze which are best suited for the PCL system. Finally, emotion recognition, a major element of the final PCL design not yet implemented, is briefly outlined.


The paper was presented on March 13 at the SmartLearn ’17, a workshop within the ACM IUI 2017,
the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Intelligent User Interfaces Community

Educational Playgrounds: How Context-aware Systems Enable Playful Coached Learning

Korn, Oliver; Dix, Alan:

Educational Playgrounds: How Context-aware Systems Enable Playful Coached Learning

In: Interactions, 24(1), 54–57, 2016
DOI = 10.1145/3012951


In this article, we present the vision of a context-aware system that supports educators and offers students what we call playful coached learning (PCL).


  • A system that is aware of real-world interactions strongly contributes to the user’s sense of interaction and exchange.
  • Adding gamification is not enough. PCL should also consider a student’s emotions.
  • Learning with a context-aware system can be a relief for students and educators, increasing their autonomy.
  • PCL is a good example of a combinatory innovation.

Delphi Study on Emotion Recognition within Workshop @ AAL-Forum 2016

AAL Forum 2016 KeynoteThe AAL Forum 2016 takes place in St. Gallen from September 26 to 29. Gerald Bieber from Fraunhofer IGD and Oliver Korn are chairing Workshop 28: From Recognizing Motion to Emotion Awareness – Perspectives for Future AAL Solutions:

There are several examples for the successful use of sensor-based motion recognition, e.g. for fall prevention or rehabilitation of elderly persons. However, motivation is always key when it comes to redundant exercises. While motion recognition helps to ensure a movement is performed correctly, emotion recognition can help to ensure an exercise is performed regularly.

The contribution of the workshop is three-fold. We will investigate best practices using motion recognition, show some potentials of emotion recognition and finally will develop perspectives for the application of emotion recognition in existing and future AAL solutions. The last section will be integrated in a Delphi study.

PhD thesis: Context-Aware Assistive Systems for Augmented Work. A Framework Using Gamification and Projection

At May 21st I finished my PhD in Computer Science at the Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS) at the University of Stuttgart. The advisors were Prof. Dr. Albrecht Schmidt from the VIS and Prof. Dr. Fillia Makedon from the Universiy of Texas Alington (UTA). The work is based on the project ASLM acquired by Prof. Dr. Thomas Hörz from the University of Applied Sciences Esslingen and was continued in the project motionEAP.

Diss-CoverThe PhD is situated in the University of Stuttgart’s SimTech Cluster and was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is published as “Open Source” – this means you can download and distribute this work freely as long as you indicate the source:

Context-Aware Assistive Systems for Augmented Work. A Framework Using Gamification and Projection (PDF, 7.7 MB)

If you prefer a printed version you can order it at Lulu Press.


assistive systems, assistive technologies, gamification, projection, motion recognition, context-aware, game design, human computer interaction, HCI, elderly, impaired, ethics, digital factory, cyber-physical systems, CPS


While context-aware assistive systems (CAAS) have become ubiquitous in cars or smartphones, most workers in production environments still rely on their skills and expertise to make the right choices and movements. (more…)

An Augmented Workplace for Enabling User-Defined Tangibles

Funk, Markus; Korn, Oliver; Schmidt, Albrecht:User-defined-Tangibles

An Augmented Workplace for Enabling User-Defined Tangibles

In: Extended Abstracts of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2014, DOI =10.1145/2559206.2581142


In this work, we introduce a novel setup for an augmented workplace, which allows for de ning and interacting with user-de ned tangibles. State-of-the-art tangible user interface systems equip both the underlying surface and the tangible control with sensors or markers. At the workplace, having unique tangibles for each available action results in confusion. Furthermore, tangible controls mix with regular objects and induce a messy desk. Therefore, we introduce the concept of user-de fined tangibles, which enable a spontaneous binding between physical objects and digital functions. With user-de fined tangibles, the need for specially designed tangible controls disappears and each physical object on the augmented
workplace can be turned into a tangible control. We introduce our prototypical system and outline our proposed interaction concept.

Tangible and Intuitive Interaction – Video of a Prototype

motionEAP-prototypeAt the University of Stuttgart Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS) and the Korion GmbH I am part of a team developing the prototype of a new kind of assistive system in the project motionEAP. The prototype combines the 3D-spaces of the depth sensors Kinect and Leap Motion.

It detects individual fingers of both hands and allows to direct processes with simple gestures. Both gestures in space and touch events on the surface of the workspace are detected. At the same time the system allows to project videos or interactive 3D-spaces on any kind of surface.

As an example this allows to zoom or rotate a workpart through simple gestures. In future development iterations we will integrate object detection allowing a context- or product-specific feedback on processes, e.g. in manual assembly. This context-aware feedback is a pre-requisite for the later implementation of gamification components. These will allow to integrate feedback smoothly and least disruptive while motivating the assistive system’s users.

The following video illustrates the prototype’s current features:

Exergames for Elderly Persons: Physical Exercise Software Based on Motion Tracking within the Framework of Ambient Assisted Living

Ser.Games+Virt.Worlds-CoverKorn, Oliver; Brach, Michael; Hauer, Klaus & Unkauf, Sven:
Exergames for Elderly Persons: Physical Exercise Software
Based on Motion Tracking within the Framework of Ambient Assisted Living

In: Bredl, Klaus & Bösche, Wolfgang (eds.):
Serious Games and Virtual Worlds in Education,
Professional Development, and Healthcare
chapter 16, Information Science Reference / IGI Global,
Hershey, PA, USA, 2013, 258-268
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3673-6.ch016


This chapter introduces the prototype of a software developed to assist elderly persons in performing physical exercises to prevent falls. The result — a combination of sport exercises and gaming — is also called “exergame.” The software is based on research and development conducted within the
“motivotion60+” research project as part of the AAL-program (Ambient Assisted Living).

The authors outline the use of motion recognition and analysis to promote physical activity among elderly people: it allows Natural Interaction (NI) and takes away the conventional controller, which represented a hurdle for the acceptance of technical solutions in the target group; it allows the real-time scaling of the exergame’s difficulty to adjust to the user’s individual fitness level and thus keep motivation up. The authors’ experiences with the design of the exergame and the first results from its evaluation regarding space, interaction, design, effort, and fun, as well as human factors, are portrayed. The authors also give an outlook on what future exergames using motion recognition should look like.

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