iWalk: Intelligent Robotic Walker for mobility and cognitive assistance of elderly and motor-impaired people

About the Project

The i-Walk project aims at developing and testing a new pioneering robotic system that will provide a range of mobility and cognitive support functions for people that face different degrees of mobility and cognitive problems.

In this project, the following methodologies will be developed and synergistically utilized: (a) processing of multi-sensory and physiological signals and identification of actions for the monitoring, analysis and prediction of human gait and other actions of the user, (b) behavioral and user-adaptive robot control and autonomous robot navigation for the dynamic approach of the user and the interactive co-occurrence combined also with voice guidance; (c) human-robot communication, including speech synthesis and recognition technologies and a virtual assistant (avatar) to enhance the naturalness of communication

  • WP1: User needs and clinical evaluation
    • T1.1: User needs
    • T1.2: Data collection and annotation
    • T1.3: Clinical evaluation
  • WP2. Processing and Recognition of MultiSensory Signals 
    • T2.1: Gait tracking and analysis using laser sensors
    • T2.2: Visual Sensing, Human Tracking, and Action Recognition
    • T2.3: Voice Command Recognition
    • T2.4: Smart sensors for tracking and processing of physiological signals
  • WP3. Control and motion planning of robotic platform
    • T3.1: Control of autonomous motion of robotic platform
    • T3.2: Robotic navigation
    • T3.3: Human robot interaction control and user mobility assistance functionality
  • WP4 Human-Machine Interaction
    • T4.1: Human-Machine Interaction Design
    • T4.2: Dialog management
    • T4.3: Interaction via voice
  • WP5. Robotic Platform Design and Implementation of Integrated System
    • T5.1: Needs analysis and design of robotic platform parameters
    • T5.2: Design and implementation of platform hardware
    • T5.3: Design and implementation of platform software
  • WP6: Commercial exploitation of results
Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Athens, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Intelligent Robotics and Automation Laborator, Greece
P.I. & Scientific Director: Prof. Petros Maragos
Assoc. Prof. Costas Tzafestas
Dr. George Moustris
Georgia Chalvatzaki
Athanasios Dometios
Petros Koutras
Paraskevas Oikonomou
Antigoni Tsiami
Institute for Language and Speech Processing
Athena Research and Innovation Center

P.I.: Dr. Stavroula-Evita Fotinea
Dr. Eleni Efthymiou
Dr. Ioannis Koumpouros
Dr. Xanthi Papageorgiou
Theodoros Goulas
Anna Vacalopoulou

Diaplasis Rehabilitation Center S.A., Greece
P.I.: Dr. Alexandra Karavasili
SenseWorks, Greece
P.I.: Nikolaos Papastamatiou
  • Georgia Chalvatzaki, Petros Koutras, Jack Hadfield, Xanthi S. Papageorgiou, Costas S. Tzafestas, Petros Maragos “On-line Human Gait Stability Prediction using LSTMs for the fusion of Deep-based Pose Estimation and LRF-based Augmented Gait State Estimation in an Intelligent Robotic Rollator”, IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA) 2019, 20-24 May, Montreal Canada
  • Georgia Chalvatzaki, Xanthi S. Papageorgiou, Costas S. Tzafestas, Petros Maragos,  “Learn to adapt to human walking: A Model-based Reinforcement Learning Approach for a Robotic Assistant Rollator”,  IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters with IROS 2019 option.
  • Georgia Chalvatzaki, Xanthi S. Papageorgiou, Petros Maragos, Costas S. Tzafestas  “Comparing the Impact of Robotic Rollator Control Schemes on Elderly Gait using on-line LRF-based Gait Analysis”,  A Workshop on Mobile Robot Assistants for the Elderly (MoRobAE) in 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal, Canada.
  • Xanthi S. Papageorgiou, Georgia Chalvatzaki, Eleni Efthimiou, Stavroula-Evita Fotinea, Alexandra Karavasili, Costas Tzafestas, Petros Maragos, Anna Vacalopoulou and Theodore Goulas, “User Centered HRI Design for an Intelligent Robotic Rollator”,  A Workshop on Mobile Robot Assistants for the Elderly (MoRobAE) in 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal, Canada.
  • Antigoni Tsiami, Petros Koutras, Athanasios Katsamanis, Argiro Vatakis, Maragos, Petros, “A behaviorally inspired fusion approach for computational audiovisual saliency modeling”, Signal Processing: Image Communication, 76 , pp. 186 – 200, 2019
  • Petros Koutras, Petros Maragos, “SUSiNet: See, Understand and Summarize it.” In Proc CVPR. Workshops 2019, California, CA.
  • E. Efthimiou, X. Papageorgiou, S-E. Fotinea, A. Karavasili, A. Vacalopoulou, T. Goulas. “User Centered Design in Practice – Adapting HRI to Real User Needs”, Proc. PETRA 2019, Island of Rhodes, Greece, June 2019.

Upcoming dissemination activities:

  • ICCS plans to present i-Walk results in IROS2019, Nov. 2019, Macau, China

Pas dissemination activities:

  • I-Walk Demo Presented in ICIP 2019:
  1. P. Koutras, G. Chalvatzaki , A. Tsiami, A. Nikolakakis, C. S. Tzafestas, and P. Maragos,“Video Processing and Learning in Assistive Robotic Applications”, Demo in ICIP 2019, Taipei, Taiwan, Sep. 2019.
  • Presentation of achieved results at conferences and workshops
    1. 20-24 May 2019: ICCS and ILSP/Athena RC participated in ICRA 2019 and ICRA 2019 Workshop and presented i-Walk results.
    2. 5-7 June 2019: ILSP/Athena RC participated in PETRA 2019 and presented i-Walk results.
    3. 16-20 June 2019: ICCS participated in CVPR 2019 and presented i-Walk results.
    4. 22-25 September 2019: ICCS participated in ICIP 2019 and presented i-Walk results (demo).
  • Invited talks:
    1. P. Maragos, ” Multisensory Video Processing and Learning For Human-Robot Interaction “, Invited Talk at the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Sep 2019.
  • AIC 2019: ILSP/Athena RC gave a key-note speech to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019, 23-25 May 2019, Vienna, Austria:
    Speaker: Eleni Efthimiou
    Title: Increasing user acceptance by augmented robot intelligence: the lesson we got from the semantics of human communication

  • Petra 2019: ILSP/Athena RC organized a workshop titled “AR4U Workshop: The 2nd Workshop on Assistive Robots: Technological Challenges and the User Perspective”, in the context of the 12th PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA) conference, held on the Island of Rhodes, Greece, June 5-7, 2019. Workshop link:  http://www.petrae.org/workshops/AR.html
  • ILSP/Athena RC demonstrated i-Walk in the 84th International Expo of Thessaloniki, Greece 7 Sep- 15 Sep 2019.
  • ICIP 2019: ICCS presented an i-Walk related tutorial at ICIP2019, 22-25 September 2019, Taipei, Taiwan:
    Tutorial Title: Multisensory Video Processing and Learning For Human-Robot Interaction
    Tutorial Presenters: Petros Maragos, Petros Koutras
  • ILSP/Athena RC and ICCS demonstrated i-Walk in the European Researchers’ Night 2019.


ICCS plans to present i-Walk results in IROS2019, Nov. 2019, Macau, China!

Project Details

Co‐financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE  (project code:T1EDK-01248)