Design and Development of a Physical and a Virtual Embodied Conversational Agent for Social Support of Older Adults

Marieke Peeters, Vivian Genaro Motti, Helena Frijns, Siddharth Mehrotra, Tugce Akkoc, Sena Büşra Yengec, Oguz Calik, Mark Neerincx

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Populations in developed societies show an increasingly higher life expectancy across the globe. To support older adults to live longer and healthier lives in the familiar surroundings of their homes, technological developments, such as robots and avatars, have a great potential. To investigate long-term interactions between older adults and a "bi-bodied conversational agent" (an agent that has both an avatar and a robot embodiment), a user-centred design approach was employed in the design and development of a conversational agent. Firstly, the requirements of the agent were elicited through a set of focus groups with the target users – older adults. Then, the agent was iteratively designed and implemented: a robot body and avatar body were created. Finally, a Wizard-of-Oz control panel was created to control and compare each of the two bodies. Current research outcomes describe the elicited requirements baseline of a bi-bodied conversational agent for older adults. Future research involves the use of this set-up to investigate long-term interaction between older adults and a bibodied conversational agent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of eNTERFACE’16 The 12th Summer Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces July 18th - August 12th, 2016, DesignLab, University of Twente Enschede, The Netherlands
Editors Khiet P. Truong, Dennis Reidsma
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventeNTERFACE 2016: Summer workshop - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Jul 201612 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameCTIT Workshop Proceedings Series
NumberWP 17-02
ISSN (Print)0929-0672


WorkshopeNTERFACE 2016
Abbreviated titleeNTERFACE 2016


  • robotics
  • robot
  • social agents
  • avatar
  • wizard of oz
  • Conversational interface
  • User centered design
  • Embodied conversational agent
  • elss
  • operational model
  • Older adults


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