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Hybrid event

vCare Lifeboths logo 2

LIFEBOTS Exchange aims at enhancing cross-sector, international and interdisciplinary collaboration in the area of social robotics technology. The project focuses particularly on the health and care sector, and examines how social robots can be included in people’s lives.

LIFEBOTS Exchange is a project financed by the Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), which is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The RISE programme promotes cross-border and cross-sector collaboration through sharing knowledge and ideas from research to market and vice versa.

The workshop plays a role in connecting together virtual coaching, physical coaching, the use of social robots, and the wider ecosystem(s) of health data and digital health in the context of home-based rehabilitation and care. It focuses on human-machine interaction; what is common to all human-machine interaction initiatives/projects, and what are their outcomes and consequences. Most practically, it emphasises what works well – physical interaction, virtual interaction, or a mix of both.

This half-day workshop follows on from a full-day conference organised by the vCare project held on 29 August 2022. Implicitly, therefore, the workshop involves an outward-facing exchange of the learnings from the vCare to other initiatives and projects in terms of lessons learned about innovation, care pathways, and potential new use cases.

This workshop is structured as a moderated debate among the participants. Each debate is triggered by short presentations made by presenters from either or both the vCare and the LIFEBOTS Exchange projects. Several specific topics will be debated around artificial intelligence (AI), components integration, serious games, and the differences between virtual and physical coaches. The workshop will conclude with a short session focusing on outcomes and next steps.

This workshop is also organised in a hybrid format and can thus be attended either physically or remotely. The same degree of participation cannot, however, be guaranteed to remote attendees.

Learn more about the Lifebots Exchange project.

Learn more about vCare.

Check out the programme of DAY 1 of the vCare Final Conference.


DAY 2: Tuesday 30 August: 9.30-12.30

09:30 CET Welcome and introduction

Hannes Schlieter (TU Dresden, Germany)

Artur Serrano (NTNU, Norway)

The speakers welcome attendees to Scotland House and the workshop. They introduce the collaboration between vCare and Lifebots Exchange. They also provide a rapid overview of the outcomes of the previous day’s discussions run by vCare: vCare’s unique value proposition; vCare stories and its promise; connecting vCare with the wider ecosystem; and – ultimately – what is needed to take vCare further along the road through an exploitation roadmap.

An introduction is given to LIFEBOTS Exchange’s work on social robots in Europe, and outlines how the project aims to facilitate interactions between personnel in workforces in academe and industry.

This morning’s session shows where social robots, AI, serious games, and various forms of coaching are all headed.

Lifebots intro

09:45 CET Conditions for effective deployment of AI technology in projects


Moderated by Rachelle Kaye, Assuta, Israel

Jin Liu, FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik, Germany

Artur Serrano, Professor in Welfare Technology, NTNU, Norway

What conditions are needed in European projects to ensure that AI-based technologies will be successfully deployed? Views on the conditions needed are offered by a speaker from vCare, followed by a speaker from Lifebots Exchange. These findings and opinions are compared and contrasted. A short debate / discussion among attendees follows. 


10:20 CET Challenges for components integration: Points for attention
Moderated by Jean-Christophe Mestres, IBM, France

Alvaro Martinez (MySphera, Spain) and Mircea Vasile (Simavi, Romania)

Carlos Neves, Software Developer (IDMind, Portugal)

Getting all the various components in any system integrated can pose considerable challenges. The vCare project has plenty of experience of how a wide number of system components have been brought together under one umbrella. Firms working with social robots also have experience in this field. A short debate / discussion among attendees follows.  

Lifebots session 2

11:00 CET Coffee break

11:15 CET Serious games for rehabilitation: State-of-the-art
Moderated by Artur Serrano, NTNU, Norway

Lucia Pannese, Chief Executive Officer (Imaginary S.R.L., Italy)

Ronny Broekx, Co-Founder (ePoint, Belgium) 

Serious games are a growing field of activity in many markets.While several digital approaches are being experimented for tele-rehabilitation, this presentation will outline the current state of play of games and the importance of including patients in the design phase to motivate them to adherence. When healthy and active ageing is key, the focus needs to be on personalisation and patient empowerment. A short debate / discussion among attendees follows. 

Lifebots session 3 2

11:45 CET Virtual versus physical coaches: Pros and cons


Moderated by Sarah Janboecke (e-VITA project, Germany/Japan)

Emmanuel Sandner (Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria)

Elisabete Pitarma, Innovation Department Project Manager (Caritas Diocesana de Coimbra, Portugal)

Increasing numbers of initiatives, including projects, are focusing on coaching – whether physical or virtual or both. Examples include AGAPE, Good Brother, Pharaon, SmartWork, ValueCare, and the Portuguese national initiative, ActiVas. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, upsides and downsides. Issues of keen interest involve co-creation with the users and different types of stakeholders. Of core importance is the validation and assessment of all results.

Lifebots session 4

12:20 CET Outcomes and conclusions


A rapid overview will be given into the main outcomes and conclusions from today’s half-day workshop, especially with regard to potential future exploitation. This session offers attendees insights into what are the next steps to be anticipated from the vCare follow-up and LIFEBOTS Exchange during 2023. EHTEL will brief attendees on its coming suite of “Imagining 2029” webinars and highlight the main themes that will be explored in its EHTEL 2022 Symposium to be held in November 2022.

12:30 CET Lunch

A lite buffet lunch is offered to attendees present in Scotland House.


Check out the programme of DAY 1 of the vCare Final Conference.

 lifebots logo

Practical information

Date : 30/08/2022 Location : Brussels/remotely Time (CET): 9:30 > 12:30

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