International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 539–552 | Cite as

RAPP: A Robotic-Oriented Ecosystem for Delivering Smart User Empowering Applications for Older People

  • Sofia E. Reppou
  • Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias
  • Athanassios M. Kintsakis
  • Andreas L. Symeonidis
  • Pericles A. Mitkas
  • Fotis E. Psomopoulos
  • George T. Karagiannis
  • Cezary Zielinski
  • Vincent Prunet
  • Jean-Pierre Merlet
  • Miren Iturburu
  • Alexandros Gkiokas


It is a general truth that increase of age is associated with a level of mental and physical decline but unfortunately the former are often accompanied by social exclusion leading to marginalization and eventually further acceleration of the aging process. A new approach in alleviating the social exclusion of older people involves the use of assistive robots. As robots rapidly invade everyday life, the need of new software paradigms in order to address the user’s unique needs becomes critical. In this paper we present a novel architectural design, the RAPP [a software platform to deliver smart, user empowering robotic applications (RApps)] framework that attempts to address this issue. The proposed framework has been designed in a cloud-based approach, integrating robotic devices and their respective applications. We aim to facilitate seamless development of RApps compatible with a wide range of supported robots and available to the public through a unified online store.


Robotic applications Cloud robotics Robotic architecture Mild cognitive impairment Assistance robotics Health monitoring Social robotics 



Parts of this work was supported by the FP7 Collaborative Project RAPP (Grant Agreement No. 610947), funded by the European Commission.


  1. 1.
    Al-Alaoui M, Ohannessian M, Choueiter G, Akl C, Avakian T, Al-Kamal I, Ferzli R (2008) A pilot project–from illiteracy to computer literacy: teaching and learning using information technology. Int J Emerg Technol Learn 3(3):4–9Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Allain H, Bentué-Ferrer D, Akwa Y (2007) Treatment of the mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp 22(4):189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bateni H, Maki BE (2005) Assistive devices for balance and mobility: benefits, demands, and adverse consequences. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 86(1):134–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bemelmans R, Gelderblom GJ, Jonker P, De Witte L (2012) Socially assistive robots in elderly care: a systematic review into effects and effectiveness. J Am Med Dir Assoc 13(2):114–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bevan N (1995) Usability is quality of use. Adv Hum Factors/Ergon 20:349–354Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Busse A, Bischkopf J, Riedel-Heller SG, Angermeyer MC (2003) Mild cognitive impairment: prevalence and incidence according to different diagnostic criteria results of the Leipzig longitudinal study of the aged (LEILA75+). Br J Psychiatry 182(5):449–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bybee RW (2000) Achieving technological literacy: a national imperative. Technol Teach 60(1):23–28Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dutoit T, Pagel V, Pierret N, Bataille F, Van der Vrecken O (1996) The MBROLA project: towards a set of high quality speech synthesizers free of use for non commercial purposes. In: Fourth international conference on spoken language, 1996. ICSLP 96 proceedings, vol 3. IEEE, p 1393–1396Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Espeak speech synthesis library. Accessed 22 Jan 2016
  10. 10.
    Fisk A et al (2004) Designing for older adults: principles and creative human factors approaches. Taylor & Francis, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fisk AD, Rogers WA, Charness N, Czaja SJ, Sharit J (2009) Designing for older adults: principles and creative human factors approaches. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fried LP, Ferrucci L, Darer J, Williamson JD, Anderson G (2004) Untangling the concepts of disability, frailty, and comorbidity: implications for improved targeting and care. J Gerontol A 59(3):M255–M263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Friedman SM, Munoz B, West SK, Rubin GS, Fried LP (2002) Falls and fear of falling: Which comes first? A longitudinal prediction model suggests strategies for primary and secondary prevention. J Am Geriatr Soc 50(8):1329–1335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fujita M (2001) Aibo: toward the era of digital creatures. Int J Robot Res 20(10):781–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Guaita A, Colombo M, Vaccaro R, Fossi S, Vitali SF, Forloni G, Polito L, Davin A, Ferretti VV, Villani S (2013) Brain aging and dementia during the transition from late adulthood to old age: design and methodology of the invece.ab population-based study. BMC Geriatr 13(1):98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Guralnik JM, Simonsick EM, Ferrucci L, Glynn RJ, Berkman LF, Blazer DG, Scherr PA, Wallace RB (1994) A short physical performance battery assessing lower extremity function: association with self-reported disability and prediction of mortality and nursing home admission. J Gerontol 49(2):M85–M94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Haleem S, Lutchman L, Mayahi R, Grice J, Parker M (2008) Mortality following hip fracture: trends and geographical variations over the last 40 years. Injury 39(10):1157–1163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hamill M, Smith L, Röhricht F (2012) dancing down memory lane: circle dancing as a psychotherapeutic intervention in dementia pilot study. Dementia 11(6):709–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jia Y, Shelhamer E, Donahue J, Karayev S, Long J, Girshick R, Guadarrama S, Darrell T (2014) Caffe: convolutional architecture for fast feature embedding. arXiv preprint arXiv:1408.5093
  20. 20.
    Kanda T, Hirano T, Eaton D, Ishiguro H (2004) Interactive robots as social partners and peer tutors for children: a field trial. Hum-Comput Interact 19(1):61–84. Retrieved on 8 Nov 2015.
  21. 21.
    Kidd PM (2008) Alzheimer’s disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and age-associated memory impairment: current understanding and progress toward integrative prevention. Altern Med Rev 13(2):85Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kintsakis AM, Reppou SE, Karagiannis GT, Mitkas PA (2015) Robot-assisted cognitive exercise in mild cognitive impairment patients: the RAPP approach. In: E-health and bioengineering conference (EHB), 2015. IEEE, p 1–4Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lawton MP (1990) Aging and performance of home tasks. Hum Factors J Hum Factors Ergon Soc 32(5):527–536Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lawton M, Brody EM (1970) Assessment of older people: self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living. Nurs Res 19(3):278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lobo A, Launer L, Fratiglioni L, Andersen K, Di Carlo A, Breteler M, Copeland J, Dartigues J, Jagger C, Martinez-Lage J et al (2000) Prevalence of dementia and major subtypes in Europe: a collaborative study of population-based cohorts. Neurol Minneap 54(11; SUPP/5):S4–S9Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lucki K, Bach M (2010) Rollator use and functional outcome of geriatric rehabilitation. J Rehabil Res Dev 47(2):151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lutz W, Sanderson W, Scherbov S (2008) The coming acceleration of global population ageing. Nature 451(7179):716–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mitkas PA (2015) Assistive robots as future caregivers: the RAPP approach. In: Progress in automation, robotics and measuring techniques. Springer, p 171–179Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Neto AF, Gallego JA, Rocon E, Pons JL, Ceres R (2010) Extraction of users navigation commands from upper body force interaction in walker assisted gait. Biomed Eng Online 9:37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nomura T, Suzuki T, Kanda T, Kato K (2006) Measurement of anxiety toward robots. In: The 15th IEEE international symposium on robot and human interactive communication, 2006. ROMAN 2006. IEEE, p 372–377Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Overshott R, Burns A (2005) Treatment of dementia. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 76(suppl 5):v53–v59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Pollack ME, Brown L, Colbry D, Orosz C, Peintner B, Ramakrishnan S, Engberg S, Matthews JT, Dunbar-Jacob J, McCarthy CE et al (2002) Pearl: a mobile robotic assistant for the elderly. AAAI workshop on automation as eldercare 2002:85–91Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Psomopoulos F, Tsardoulias E, Giokas A, Zielinski C, Prunet V, Trochidis I, Daney D, Serrano M, Courtes L, Arampatzis S, et al (2014) RAPP system architecture. In: IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems assistance and service robotics in a human environmentGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Reppou S, Karagiannis G (2015) Social inclusion with robots: a RAPP case study using NAO for technology illiterate elderly at Ormylia Foundation. In: Progress in automation, robotics and measuring techniques. Springer, p 233–241Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rizzi L, Rosset I, Roriz-Cruz M (2014) Global epidemiology of dementia: Alzheimers and vascular types. Biomed Res Int 2014:e908915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rogers WA, Meyer B, Walker N, Fisk AD (1998) Functional limitations to daily living tasks in the aged: a focus group analysis. Hum Factors J Hum Factors Ergon Soc 40(1):111–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Schulte J, Rosenberg C, Thrun S (1999) Spontaneous, short-term interaction with mobile robots. In: IEEE international conference on robotics and automation, 1999. Proceedings, vol 1. IEEE, Detroit, MI, p 658–663Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Smith R, Quine S, Anderson J, Black K (2002) Assistive devices: self-reported use by older people in Victoria. Aust Health Rev 25(4):169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tenorth M, Beetz M (2009) Knowrob: knowledge processing for autonomous personal robots. In: IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems, 2009. IROS 2009. IEEE, Detroit, MI, p 4261–4266Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tiberio L, Padua L, Pellegrino AR, Aprile I, Cortellessa G, Cesta A (2011) Assessing the tolerance of a telepresence robot in users with mild cognitive impairment. In: Proceedings of HRI 2011 workshop on social robotic telepresence, Lausanne, 6 March 2011, p 23–28Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tsardoulias EG, Zieliński C, Kasprzak W, Reppou S, Symeonidis AL, Mitkas PA, Karagiannis G (2015) Merging robotics and AAI ontologies: the RAPP methodology. In: Progress in automation, robotics and measuring techniques. Springer, p 285–297Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Walker W, Lamere P, Kwok P, Raj B, Singh R, Gouvea E, Wolf P, Woelfel J (2004) Sphinx-4: a flexible open source framework for speech recognitionGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    World Health Organization (2012) Dementia: a public health priority. World Health Organization, Mental health, Geneva. Accessed 8 Nov 2015
  44. 44.
    World Health Organization 2015 dementia facts. Accessed 15 Nov 2016

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia E. Reppou
    • 1
  • Emmanouil G. Tsardoulias
    • 2
  • Athanassios M. Kintsakis
    • 3
  • Andreas L. Symeonidis
    • 2
  • Pericles A. Mitkas
    • 3
  • Fotis E. Psomopoulos
    • 2
  • George T. Karagiannis
    • 1
  • Cezary Zielinski
    • 4
  • Vincent Prunet
    • 5
  • Jean-Pierre Merlet
    • 5
  • Miren Iturburu
    • 6
  • Alexandros Gkiokas
    • 7
  1. 1.Ormylia Foundation, Diagnostic CenterOrmyliaGreece
  2. 2.ITI—Information Technologies InstituteCERTH—Centre for Research and Technology HellasThessaloníkiGreece
  3. 3.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessaloníkiGreece
  4. 4.Institute of Control and Computation EngineeringWarsaw University of TechnologyWarsawPoland
  5. 5.InriaSophia-AntipolisFrance
  6. 6.Matia Instituto GerontologicoDonostia-San SebastianSpain
  7. 7.Ortelio Ltd.CoventryUK

Personalised recommendations