A User-Centric Design of Service Robots Speech Interface for the Elderly

Ning Wang, Frank Broz, Alessandro Di Nuovo, Tony Belpaeme, Angelo Cangelosi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)


The elderly population in the Europe have quickly increased and will keep growing in the coming years. In facing the elder care challenges posed by the amount of seniors staying alone in their own homes, great efforts have been made to develop advanced robotic systems that can operate in intelligent environments, and to enable the robot to ultimately work in real conditions and cooperate with elderly end-users favoring independent living. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a user-centric speech interface tailored for the elderly. The speech user interface incorporating the state of the art speech technologies, is fully integrated into application contexts and facilitates the actualization of the robotic services in different scenarios. Contextual information is taken into account in the speech recognition to reduce system complexity and to improve recognition success rate. Under the framework of the EU FP7 Robot-Era Project, the usability of the speech user interface on a multi-robots service platform has been evaluated by elderly users recruited in Italy and Sweden through questionnaire interview. The quantitative analysis results show that the majority of end-users strongly agree that the speech interaction experienced during the Robot-Era services is acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances in Nonlinear Speech Processing
EditorsAnna Esposito, Marcos Faundez-Zanuy, Antonietta M. Esposito, Gennaro Cordasco, Thomas Drugman, Jordi Solé-Casals, Francesco Carlo Morabito
Number of pages9
VolumePart VI
ISBN (Electronic)9783319281094
ISBN (Print)9783319281070
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSmart Innovation, Systems and Technologies
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2190-3018


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