Minecraft multiplayer servers allow millions of children from around the world to build, play and problem solve together in a shared virtual space. As conflicts between players are common, these online spaces offer unique opportunity to help children develop effective conflict resolution skills that would then transfer to real-world settings.

This project draws on 40 years of conflict resolution curricula in Prevention Science to develop in-game tools that embedded learning into the Minecraft gameplay. To explore this space, we collaborate with leading game researchers (Katie Salen, Mimi Ito) as well as SEL developers at Committee for Children (the developers of Second Step, used by more than 8 millions of children in USA).

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The utilization of a plane toilet represents difficulties for many mobility reduced persons. Often they aren’t able at all, especially within short distance or medium-haul flights. Depending on mobility restrictions various requirements for toilet executions exist which cannot be complied because of technical possibilities of the plane or because of economical conditions of airlines.

Team: Paul Panek, Peter Mayer

Project Partners: netwiss OG, FH JOANNEUM Graz, TU - Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften, Rodlauer Consulting GmbH, FACC AG, Verein Raltec

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In Austria about 1.2% of the population or a total of ca. 130.000 persons are affected by dementia. The increase of life expectancy will lead to a growing number of people affected in the future. Maintaining mobility can at least help delay the advance of dementia symptoms. Lack of movement is considered to be one of the prevalent risk factors for dementia in the USA and Europe. Encouraging mobility of people with dementia poses risks like getting lost or falling. For this reason technological solutions mostly focus on monitoring and restricting or even inhibiting the mobility of persons with dementia. Often considered stakeholder groups in the design and implementation of technological solutions are care personnel and relatives, making persons with dementia only passive users in the functional chain. Whenever attempts were made to increase independent mobility of people, smartphones or smart watches were used, which are known to be difficult to handle for this user group.

The project Way-Key follows the approach of promoting mobility. For persons with light to medium grades of dementia independent mobility is feasible and a legitimate need in a self-determined lifestyle. Technology should be used to support people to the necessary extent, to guide them to their goal and back home safely, and to generally encourage mobility. Relatives or care personnel will be involved only when necessary. To avoid acceptance problems and facilitate everyday use, the developed tool will be connected to an item of daily use to make it likely to be carried along by users when leaving home. Privacy protection, human dignity, ethics by design, usability and non-discrimination are central themes in the project.

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Social play is key for successful inclusion of children with disabilities and has significant impact on their wellbeing and development. Typical traits in autism, such as impaired social and communication skills and repetitive behaviours, make social play particularly challenging for children diagnosed on the spectrum, exposing them to a wide range of mental health risks. This project investigates how technology can help support social play activities in mixed, co-located groups of autistic and neuro-typical children, aged 6 to 8 years. We aim to develop smart play objects, which can intelligently react to social situations to scaffold interactive play experiences of autistic children and their typically developing peers. For such objects to be meaningful to different children, it is key to involve them actively in their design.

Project Homepage:

Team: Christopher Frauenberger, Laura Scheepmaker, Katta Spiel

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LARAH (Location-aware Assistant Robots At Home) aimed at providing older persons with an assistive robot, to provide support and safety in their own homes. This project developed a visual indoor localization solution for mobile assistive robots. The advanced localization technology proposed in LARAH will improve the assessment of the own position of the robot, and support tasks such as, finding and bringing objects, opening doors, and in finding persons in case of an emergency (e.g. fall).

Team: Marjo Rauhala, Paul Panek, Katharina Werner, Peter Mayer, Chris Frauenberger

Project Partners: AIT, Blue Danube Robotics

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