Home of the Future at the Automatica Trade Fair

A pair of glasses that helps jog one’s memory, a stovetop that helps make delicious meals, and a friendly robotic butler, who greets visitors at the trade fair booth: the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) will exhibit at Automatica, the world’s largest international trade fair for automation, held from 21–24 June in Munich. In Hall B4, Stand 315, CITEC will display its new research prototypes for the home of the future. During the trade fair, the socially competent service robot Floka will also be unveiled for the first time.

Floka’s torso is mounted on a mobile frame. Its robotic hands were made to resemble human hands, which allow the robot to be taught to grasp things “naturally.” In an apartment, Floka could be put to work unpacking groceries, or serving guests a refreshing drink. Floka’s head is interchangeable; CITEC researchers replaced its original sensor head with a variant of the Flobi robotic head, which was also developed at CITEC. Flobi is a social robot that displays emotional facial expressions to the person with whom it is interacting. Experiments at CITEC have demonstrated that people accept this robot better as a conversation partner than a robot that appears more technically “robotic.”

The culinary assistant KogniChef will also be on display at the trade fair. This robot can be operated using gestures and language. The research prototype assists the human user in making a recipe, for instance with a tablet that can be operated with voice or gestures if the cook’s hands are wet. In addition to providing detailed instructions, KogniChef can also play different videos on a large display, which demonstrate, for example, how to separate an egg. The system also helps the cook know which ingredients need to be used when—and in what quantity. KogniChef is part of the digital kitchen of the KogniHome Cluster of Innovation at Bielefeld University.

 In addition to these innovations, a pair of virtual reality glasses that provide assistance in daily activities will also be exhibited from the research project Adamaas. These glasses recognize, for instance, if the user runs into trouble while baking, and then provides commentary and tips that are shown in the glasses’ display. Along with activities like baking a cake, the glasses can also provide assistance in brewing coffee, repairing a bicycle, or practicing yoga poses. These glasses are designed to make everyday living easier, particularly for the elderly and those with disabilities.




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Eva Winkelmann, Bielefeld University

Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology

Telephone: +49 521 106 6567

Email: ewinkelmann@cit-ec.uni-bielefeld.de