The EmoCare research project supports nurses with the help of voice, gesture and facial expression analysis of residents in retirement homes. At the end of September, the EmoCare team exchanged ideas with the operators of the Flitzmo robot.

The EmoCare research project of the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences together with the software developer Dr. Hornecker aims to support the nursing staff in retirement homes. Sensors record facial expressions, gestures and voices. Algorithms then evaluate the emotions of residents. Emotions such as sadness, pain or great anger of the elderly can be identified and possible emergencies can be prevented or detected in time.

A mobile and flexible robot could significantly support data acquisition.
In the exchange with the developers of the student project Flitzmo, the challenges of such a vision became clear. A self-driving robot, as already used in logistics, offers many advantages for the field of nursing as well. The supervisors of the Flitzmo project therefore gave EmoCare an insight into the complexity of developing a logistics robot. Functions such as safe autonomous driving, turning from a standing position and performing programmed tasks have been developed, tested and improved over the years. In a lively discussion, the EmoCare team was able to identify difficulties with Flitzmo and discuss possible solutions.

The Flitzmo robot is being developed at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences as a student project. Over the years, a prototype of a logistics robot was created with the help of several student teams. Autonomous driving, flexible turning capabilities and the execution of contract work have already been programmed and are in the process of being integrated onto the prototype’s hardware.

The Affective & Cognitive Institute supports the development of the EmoCare assistance system and provides its experience and know-how on human-computer interaction.