DFKI Research Department of Agents and Simulated Reality (ASR)

The main competencies of the DFKI ASR (Agents and Simulated Reality) department in the AAL domain are the innovative integration of semantic Web, service coordination, and intelligent agent technologies for ambient medical assistance and independent living services and applications. Since 2001 we are involved in a wide range of AAL activities on the European, national and regional level including the major funded e-health related research projects VITAL, CASCOM, SAID, VITAL and SCALLOPS as well as the regional AAL service portal initiative SaarAAL. One example of AAL software developed at our department is the Health-SCALLOPS suite for intelligent coordination of mobile medical assistance services such as optimal and privacy-preserving medical patient transport planning by caretakers and emergency physicians at home or on the move.

DFKI Research Department of Augmented Vision

The main research interests in the AAL area of the department Augmented Vision, in Kaiserslautern, are user and activity monitoring. One application of this is the physical activity monitoring of elderly people performed in the European research project PAMAP. The idea is to use this information to make sure they keep a healthy activity level to enable an active lifestyle. The activity monitoring is performed using information from miniature inertial sensors attached to the body and rigidly installed units, e.g., cameras. The strength of the Augmented Vision department is to deduce high-level information from the acquired low-level sensor measurements using statistical sensor fusion techniques.

DFKI Research Department of Safe and Secure Cognitive Systems (SSCS)

The focal point of the research of the Safe and Secure Cognitive Systems group in the area of AAL is the Bremen Ambient Assisted Living Lab (BAALL). BAALL is an apartment suitable for the elderly and people with physical or cognitive impairments. With a size of 60 m², it comprises all necessary conditions for trial living, intended for two persons. It is situated at the Bremen site of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in one of the labs of the research department Safe and Secure Cognitive Systems in the Cartesium building. BAALL has been developed in cooperation with Universität Bremen in the EU project SHARE-it and the SFB/TR8 Spatial Cognition of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Mobility assistance through the Bremen Intelligent Wheelchair (Xeno, Otto Bock) as well as the Intelligent Walker is the major focus. Both the wheelchair and the walker are upgraded with sensors and actuators to assist safe driving (braking, automatic obstacle avoidance) as well as navigation to known destinations. The improvement of interoperability and safety of systems for environmental assistance is investigated. Moreover, higher services for interaction with intelligent household appliances and furniture (kitchenette, refrigerator, sliding doors, wardrobe, bed, …) are developed. Regarding all assistants, we take natural interaction with the users very seriously, through special devices for compensating special limitations, but foremost by emphasizing spoken dialogue.

DFKI Research Department of Intelligent User Interfaces

The foundations of multimodal, Human-Computer Interaction are evolving and personalized dialog systems integrating speech, gestures, and facial expressions with physical interaction are being developed at the department of Intelligent User Interfaces. In the process, user, task and domain models are used to design dialog patterns that are as natural and robust as possible so as to be understandable, even in group discussions or loud environments. Through the integration of virtual characters, even emotions and socially interactive behavior can be achieved as output. A major focus is mobile user interfaces to locationbased and context sensitive services, especially, for applications in automobiles and shopping situations as well as at theme parks and museums. In addition to the intuitive access to the Internet of Services and Things in the context of the semantic web, the department also studies barrier free access to instrumented environments and networked worlds for seniors and the physically challenged. Our research results are also applied to innovative security solutions and self-defending networks. Characteristic for this research department is the interdisciplinary method of operation, especially, the cooperation of computer scientists with computational linguists and cognitive psychologists as well as the empirical and ergonomic evaluation of spoken dialog systems and multimodal user interfaces.