The research group intelligent assistive systems (professor Kai Essig and Christian Ressel) can welcome a new member of their research team: the humanoid robot Pepper. This robot is designed as an informative and communicative "robot companion" that has eyes, speech, emotions, gestures and locomotion as well as an interface tablet for output and interactions. Over the next few years, the researchers at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences want to combine methods from AI and psychology with eye and motion tracking to flexibly adapt collaborative robots to the respective user and application context, e.g. to support people with impairments. "This platform will allow the university to contribute to the field of social robotics in the near future" says Prof. Dr. Kai Essig. Social robots are machines equipped with sensors that were created to interact with humans, are usually used in everyday situations by non-experts, have social skills and can be used flexibly. The robots are thus credible interaction partners for their humans, they can communicate in a natural way and can adjust and adapt themselves to the idiosyncrasies of their counterparts. The research collaboration of the two professors entered this field of research several years ago. At present, the team is researching with other partners from different universities, business and the voluntary welfare sector how robots in puppet form can care for and support elderly people suffering from dementia. Further projects concern the development of audiovisual assistance systems in the form of intelligent AR glasses, which support people individually, according to their needs and the respective application context, so that human can live an independent life appropriate to their age and their mental and physical abilities.
Further information on the projects can be found on the website of the Research Association for Intelligent Assistive Systems (IAS) at https://www.ais-lab.de/.