Archive for the ‘assistive systems’ 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.

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.

Computerized Assessment of the Skills of Impaired and Elderly Workers

Korn, Oliver; Tso, Leslie; Papagrigoriou, Christos; Sowoidnich, Yannic; Konrad, Robert; Schmidt, Albrecht:

Computerized Assessment of the Skills of Impaired and Elderly Workers. A Tool Survey and Comparative Study

In: PETRA ’16 Proceedings of the 9th Int. Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2016
DOI = 10.1145/2910674.2910675


The number of impaired persons rises – as a result of both regular degradation with age and psychological problems like burnout. Sheltered work organizations aim to reintegrate impaired persons into work environments and prepare them for the re-entry in the regular job market.

Both for elderly and for impaired persons it is crucial to quickly assess the abilities, to identify limits and potentials and thus find work processes suitable for their skill profile.

This work focuses on the analysis and comparison of software-tools that assess the abilities of persons with impairments. We describe two established generic tools (CANTAB, Cogstate), analyze a yet unknown specialized tool (Hamet) and present a new gamified tool (GATRAS).

Finally we present a study with 20 participants, comparing the tools against a ground truth baseline generated by a realworld assembly task


This work will be presented at the conference
PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments
PETRA ’16 (June 29 – July 01) on Corfu Island, Greece.


Gamification of a Workday. A Study on the Effects in Sheltered Employment

By Oliver on February 9th, 2016 in assistive systems, conferences, gamification, HCI, publications

Korn, Oliver; Lang, Johannes; Korge, Andreas; Causegic, Haris; Schmidt, Albrecht:

Gamification of a Workday. A Study on the Effects in Sheltered Employment

CHI-16-LBW-gamification-workdayIn: CHI ’16 Extended Abstracts of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2016
DOI = 10.1145/2851581.2892283


Gamification implies the application of methods and design patterns from gaming to non-gaming areas like learning or working. We applied an existing gamification design to production processes in an organization which provides sheltered employment for impaired persons.

In contrast to existing work, we investigated not only a short period but a complete workday to measure the effects on the performance of impaired workers.

The study indicates that gamification has
(1) a negative effect on workers with considerable cognitive impairments,
(2) no measurable effect on workers with medium cognitive impairments and
(3) a positive effect on workers with mild cognitive impairments.


This work will be presented at CHI ’16 (May 7-12) in San Jose, California, USA.

Ethical Implications Regarding Assistive Technology at Workplaces

Behrendt, Hauke; Funk, Markus; Korn, Oliver:
Assistive Systems for the Workplace: Towards Context-Aware Assistance

In: Collective Agency and Cooperation in Natural and Artificial Systems. Springer, 2015. pp 109-130
DOI = 10.1007/978-3-319-15515-9_6


It is the purpose of this paper to address ethical issues concerning the development and application of Assistive Technology at Workplaces (ATW). We shall give a concrete technical concept how such technology might be constructed and propose eight technical functions it should adopt in order to serve its purpose.

Then, we discuss the normative questions why one should use ATW, and by what means. We argue that ATW is good to the extent that it ensures social inclusion and consider four normative domains in which its worth might consists in. In addition, we insist that ATW must satisfy two requirements of good workplaces, which we specify as

(a) an exploitation restraint and

(b) a duty of care.

Design Approaches for the Gamification of Production Environments. A Study Focusing on Acceptance

By Oliver on May 4th, 2015 in assistive systems, assistive technology, HCI, HMI, publications

PETRA-2015-Workplace-with-GamificationKorn, Oliver; Funk, Markus; Schmidt, Albrecht:

Design Approaches for the Gamification of Production Environments. A Study Focusing on Acceptance

In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments, ACM,
New York, NY, USA, 2015
DOI = 10.1145/2769493.2769549


Gamification is an ever more popular method to increase motivation and user experience in real-world settings. It is widely used in the areas of marketing, health and education. However, in production environments, it is a new concept. To be accepted in the industrial domain, it has to be seamlessly integrated in the regular work processes.

In this work we make the following contributions to the field of gamification in production: (1) we analyze the state of the art and introduce domain-specific requirements; (2) we present two implementations gamifying production based on alternative design approaches; (3) these are evaluated in a sheltered work organization. The comparative study focuses acceptance, motivation and perceived happiness.

The results reveal that a pyramid design showing each work process as a step on the way towards a cup at the top is strongly preferred to a more abstract approach where the processes are represented by a single circle and two bars.


This work was presented at the PETRA 2015 in Korfu, Greece.

Towards a Gamification of Industrial Production. A Comparative Study in Sheltered Work Environments

EICS-2015-Workplace-with-GamificationKorn, Oliver; Funk, Markus; Schmidt, Albrecht:

Towards a Gamification of Industrial Production. A Comparative Study in Sheltered Work Environments

In: Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2015 [to be published]
DOI = 10.1145/2774225.2774834


Using video game elements to improve user experience and user engagement in non-game applications is called “gamification”. This method of enriching human-computer interaction has been applied successfully in education, health and general business processes. However, it has not been established in industrial production so far.

After discussing the requirements specific for the production domain we present two workplaces augmented with gamification. Both implementations are based on a common framework for context-aware assistive systems but exemplify different approaches: the visualization of work performance is complex in System 1 and simple in System 2.

Based on two studies in sheltered work environments with impaired workers, we analyze and compare the systems’ effects on work and on workers. We show that gamification leads to a speed-accuracy-tradeoff if no quality-related feedback is provided. Another finding is that there is a highly significant raise in acceptance if a straightforward visualization approach for gamification is used.


This work will be presented at the EICS 2015 in Duisburg, Germany.