The work of Miraculous-Life is divided into eight WPs, forming three main groups:
Core Technical WPs
WP1 - End User Needs Analysis and Functional SpecificationThe main objective of this WP is to carry out elder’s needs analysis in managing their daily activities at home and specify functional requirements for the services to be provided by the system. It will also specify the Virtual Support Partner (VSP) model providing for emotional and behaviour patterns the elderly used to have, or would like to have, with a real partner, in the execution of their daily activities at home. Related dialogue patterns between elderly and their partners or caregivers will be analysed in order to specify guidelines for realistic, affective human-computer interaction. This WP will guide the development towards high acceptance and usability by carrying out very initial user pre-trials considering ethical, privacy, legal and deontological issues. All tasks will run in close collaboration with the end users to identify the specific features that will satisfy their needs, identify technical constraints and define conditions under which the system must perform.
Specifically this WP will carry out i) analysis of user needs and requirements ii) functional specification of the ICT services; iii) analysis and specification of the Virtual Support Partner (VSP) model; iv) analysis and specification of use case scenarios and Human-Interaction; v) Ethical, Privacy and Legal Considerations; vi) user pre-trials evaluation.
WP2 - Human-Computer InteractionThe aim objective of this WP is to design and develop components to model an emotional Human-machine interaction based on multi-modal input signals. In order to recognize the current emotional state of the elder, facial expressions, gestures (body, hand poses) and voice intonation (i.e. a rising tone vs. a falling tone) occurring naturally during interaction with the system will be considered. State-of-the art intelligent, intuitive Human -Computer Interaction technologies developed and tested in other initiatives will be enhanced and adapted to operate in the Miraculous-Life environment. In terms of hardware, depth sensor cameras (e.g. Kinect) that capture gestures and body movements will be used and related 3D data visualization tools.
Specifically WP2 will design and develop components for: i) emotion recognition based on facial expression; ii) gestures-based emotion recognition considering user context; iii) emotion recognition based on speech audio.
WP3 - Virtual Support Partner Adaptive BehaviourThe main objective of WP3 is the design and development of an interactive and expressive virtual avatar that will represent the Virtual Support Partner (VSP). The graphical representation of the VSP and its human-like behaviour should make the system more engaging for the elder to interact with. The VSP representation in this WP will be developed based on the specification defined in WP1, it will use the perception components from WP2 to interpret user status and it will use the services from WP4 to guide the elder during her / his daily activities.
More specifically, WP3 will: i) design and develop algorithms for environment context analysis and human behaviour understanding; ii) design and develop the overall behaviour and top-level decision making logic of the system (Virtual Support Partner) following guidelines coming from WP1; iii) design and develop the expressive virtual avatar with human-like facial expression, emotional voice and gestures.
WP4 - Home Daily Activity and Safety ServicesThe main objective of this WP is to realize the ICT and Safety service that support the daily home activities of end users based on the requirements and use case scenarios gathered during WP1. A number of services will be designed and developed that can be categorized as follows: i) Care & Wellness services that enable the elderly to continue managing their daily activities in their home; ii) Guidance services to encourage the end users to build enduring habits for a healthy life; and iii) Education/Leisure services that will advise the elder by aiding its daily activities through education facilities such as communicating new meal preparation recipes and also by enhancing its social activities and creating a social bonding with the Virtual Support Partner. Furthermore, a set of safety services will be provided bestowing the elder with the feeling of safety in carrying out its daily life. A collaborative care network (Co-Net) will also be provided promoting collaboration, and also an intelligent data sharing system for alerts and information, between the elder and formal/informal carers in order to better and more efficiently assist the elderly. These services will continuously evolve according to the changing needs and requirements of the end users (i.e. elder or caregiver).
More specifically, this WP will: i) develop Home daily ICT services in the categories of Care & Wellness, Guidance and Education / Leisure; ii) develop safety services; iii) develop a collaborative care network (Co- Net)
WP5 - System Integration and TestingThis WP will carry out the design and specification of the overall Miraculous-Life system architecture. All the developed software prototypes developed in WP2, WP3 and WP4 will be then integrated into a coherent system. A robust security and privacy infrastructure featuring security protocols and mechanisms will be also specified and developed in this WP to fulfil the end-user needs and requirements identified in WP1. The overall integrated Miraculous-Life system prototype will be validated and tested using real-world application test cases in preparation for the evaluation trials (WP6).
This WP will specifically include: i) overall design of the Miraculous-Life system and specification of the system architecture including the different hardware and software components; ii) define software application tools and standards to be used for developing integrated prototypes; iii) develop the security and privacy infrastructure; iv) specification and development of a knowledge base data model; v) customize and integrate the working prototypes developed in WP2, WP3, WP4 into a coherent system; vi) Testing and validation of the overall Miraculous-Life system.
Trials and evaluation
WP6 - Pilot Trials and EvaluationOne of the main objectives of Miraculous-Life is the organization and execution of two system trials in two realistic user environments for evaluation and assessment of the overall Miraculous-Life solution. This objective will be achieved in this WP where two pilots, in the Netherlands (ORBIS) and Switzerland (MRPS) will be carried out. The two trials are representing two well selected use cases, where elderly people can live with the greatest possible independence and activity.
WP6 will specifically: i) develop a trial execution plan for evaluation of the system in real life conditions; ii) execution of two iterative user trials in the selected pilot sites; iii) carry out the evaluation and assessment of the final system; iv) develop a deployment plan as input for the exploitation planning in WP7.
WP7 - Dissemination, Exploitation strategy and StandardizationThe main objective of this WP is to ensure extensive and active dissemination and also exploitation of project results preparing the ground for a successful commercialization of the project outcome ensuring also coordinated contribution to revenant standardization fora. Specifically this WP will i) develop a dissemination strategy and plan; ii) develop an exploitation plan and business strategy and iii) activities for standardization.
WP8 - Project ManagementThe objectives of this WP are: i) overall coordination and daily management of the project and the consortium ii) technical management and iii) management of communication between all stakeholders.