The term agile has been used in the last 15 years in software development to promote adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement. Agile development encourages rapid and flexible response to change. The term co-creation was popularized in the last 15 years as well. It refers to the joint creation of value by the company and the customer; allowing the customer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context, integrating the principles of dialogue (interaction with users), access (allow customer to access data), risk (monitor risk and gaps between customer and firm) and transparency (information barriers eliminated). A number of challenges have to be addressed:

  • Agile programming and co-creation imply important changes at development and at organisational level.
  • Ageing applications necessitate a co-creation approach that is fully multidisciplinary, to ensure Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI). This is not only a co-creation between business and customers, but co-creation between social science, legal, policy makers, engineers, users and carers.
  • Robotics solutions are based on complex ICT environments integrating sensor networks, handling of big data in the cloud. The concept of flexible platform must be taken into account to fully participate to the agile co-creation process. In other words, agile co-creation must also somehow extend to the platform level, not only to the application level. Issues such as interoperability must be taken into account.

Objective O1: Agile Co-creation Methodology for Robotics Solution for Ageing

ACCRA will define a methodology for robotics solution for ageing based on agile co-creation.

  • Definition of four-step methodology: the need study phase (step 1), the co-creation phase (step 2), the experimentation phase (step 3) and the sustainability analysis phase (step 4).
  • Experience from 3 applications (support for walking, housework, conversation rehabilitation) and 4 countries (France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan) demonstrating:
    • Integration of Co-creation involving ageing well users (patient, carers, family)
    • Integration of Agile programming.
    • Integration of Flexible platform:
      • Integration of concerns such as safety, security and privacy.
      • Evaluation of the value of agile co-creation.
      • Provision of handbook and online instruction videos.

Objective O2: Assessment Framework for Impact of Robotics Solutions for Ageing

ACCRA will develop an assessment framework for impact of robotics solutions for ageing. Contributions:

  • Integration of MAST impact assessment framework, integrating the following dimensions: user perceptions, user outcomes, ELSI, economic aspects, technical aspects, organisational aspects.
  • Assessment at pilot level (the 4 steps are applied) of applications in the domain of mobility (support for walking), of daily life (houseworkà, and of socialisation (conversation rehabilitation).
  • Assessment of cross pilot analysis (transferability and ethical and cultural analysis) and of platform flexibility analysis.

Objective O3: Platform for Agile Co_creation of Robotics Solutions for Ageing

ACCRA will built a platform for agile co-creation based on open solutions provided by existing initiatives, integrating important enablers. Contributions:

  • Constitution of a FIWARE-based platform environment for agile co-creation of robotics solutions for ageing, focusing on the needs of the ACCRA applications and pilots, integrating domain specific capabilities.
  • Enablers for robotics solutions:
    • Robotics support for Astro (based on the SCITOS G5 mobile platform , and developed within the ASTROMOBILE project).
    • Robotics support for Buddy, a small-size robot designed as a companion home.
    • Open source solution for robotics speech communication, Rospeex.
    • Quality of Service (QoS) support for robotics control. Quality of service enhancing technology will be developed for robotics control. This includes software defined networking technology: bandwidth guarantee, packet lossless, time lag reduction, and specific protocol (ex. Rehabilitation protocol).
  • Enablers for active healthy ageing solutions:
    • AAL support. The main features provided by the universAAL platform will be adapted for use in a FIWARE environment.
    • Application stakeholder cooperation management enabler. This capability is needed in applications involving different types of stakeholders (health, social security, authorities, carers …).
  • Support for agile modification of applications, APIs and platforms.

Objective O4: Mobility Application

ACCRA will develop a robotics mobility application for ageing focusing on walking support. Contibutions:

  • Mobility application addressing people presenting risk of falls or returning from hospitals further to falls. The application will integrate features for physical support for walking (i.e. the robot can physically help).
  • Demonstration of robotics features: detection of lack of movement, post-traumatic support (physical rehabilitation), help in maintaining independent mobility.
  • Demonstration of agile co-creation 4-step methodology and assessment of cross pilot flexibility (transferability, platform flexibility).
    The following aspects in the contributions are research and innovation activities:

  • Robotics application features for walking support.
    Potential Future Innovation
    O4 will allow for the following innovation beyond the project:

  • Deployment of robotics applications for walking support

Objective O4 will be addressed by WP2 (where the first two steps of the methodology will be applied) and WP6 (where the last two steps of the methodology will be applied).

Objective O5: Daily Life Application

ACCRA will develop a robotics daily life application for ageing focusing on housework. The following contributions will be made to meet O5:

  • Activity support application addressing people with first signs of loss of autonomy (pre-dependency), promoting behaviours favourable for ageing well (mobility, good hydration, social links ...) and for detecting signs / risks to reduce autonomy. ACCRA will focus on building a housework application.
  • Demonstration of well-being features through the help of robotics solutions: monitoring and controlling parameters (e.g. memory, walking, nutrition, hydration, physical activity, social links...), alert and diagnosis management, coordination and management of information exchange.
  • Demonstration of agile co-creation 4-step methodology and assessment of cross pilot flexibility (transferability, platform flexibility).

Objective O6: Socialisation Application

ACCRA will develop a robotics socialisation application for ageing focusing on conversation. Contributions:

  • Novel conversation rehabilitation application based on agile co-creation. Very much like physical rehabilitation where patients are provided with challenging exercises to stimulate their body, in conversation rehabilitation, people are provided with challenging interactions exercise to stimulate their intellectual curiosity.
  • Integration of Rospeex open source communication speech enabler.
  • Investigation et development of software defined technology to enhance quality of service for robotics control.
  • Demonstration of the first two steps of agile co-creation methodology and assessment.