VIVA: Vertrauen und Sympathie schaffender »lebendiger« sozialer Roboter


Start date: 01.09.2018
Duration: 3 Years
Funded By: BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung)
Local head of project: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André
Local scientists:  
Claude Toussaint

About the project

In the future, robots will work more and more closely with humans and the number of robots in private households will also increase. In order that robots are not only tolerated by humans, but also perceived as an attractive enrichment, the interaction behavior of robots must be perceived as pleasant and trustful by users.

Since the VIVA prototype will be developed during the project, the University of Augsburg will initially use existing robots for its research, such as the Reeti shown in the picture.

As part of the VIVA project, the robot VIVA will be developed together with various partners from science and industry. The target group are people in single households, especially people aged 40-90 years, who are physically and mentally capable, but have a limited social network. The robot is supposed to support the users in maintaining social contacts and improve the emotional, psychological well being of the users.
To this end, the robot should be able to recognize emotions of persons interacting with it and react appropriately. VIVA should also be able to perform simple dialogues and respond to the user's needs by asking specific questions in order to increase the user's wellbeing. In addition, the robot should learn the social structure of the user over time and encourage him to maintain it. For example, the robot VIVA should be able to use the following interaction patterns:


  • The robot recognizes and reflects eye contact and creates shared attention.
  • The robot perceives the emotional state of the person and mirrors it verbally and non-verbally.
  • The robot understands spoken content and responds in particular to the values and needs that it has interpreted from the users.

Various partners from science and industry are involved in the project. In addition to the University of Augsburg, researchers from the Bielefeld University and the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld as well as the companies navel robotics GmbH (Munich), Neuland Software GmbH (Augsburg) and Vision4IT GmbH (Gauting) are involved.


VIVA is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the research priority "Technik zum Menschen bringen - Roboter für Assistenzfunktionen: Interaktionsstrategien" ["Bringing Technology to People - Robots for Assistant Functions: Interaction Strategies"]. The project is being administered by VDIVDE-IT GmbH.

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