Robotic System for Physical Training of Older Adults

Omri Avioz-Sarig, Samuel Olatunji, Vardit Sarne-Fleischmann, Yael Edan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical exercise has many physical, psychological and social health benefits leading to improved life quality. This paper presents a robotic system developed as a personal coach for older adults aiming to motivate older adults to participate in physical activities. The robot instructs the participants, demonstrates the exercises and provides real-time corrective and positive feedback according to the participant’s performance as monitored by an RGB-D camera. Two robotic systems based on two different humanoid robots (Nao, toy-like and Poppy, mechanical-like) were developed and implemented using the Python programming language. Experimental studies with 32 older adults were conducted, to determine the preferable mode and timing of the feedback provided to the user to accommodate user preferences, motivate the users and improve their interaction with the system. Additionally, user preferences with regards to the two different humanoid robots used were explored. The results revealed that the system motivated the older adults to engage more in physical exercises. The type and timing of feedback influenced this engagement. Most of these older adults also perceived the system as very useful, easy to use, had a positive attitude towards the system and noted their intention to use it. Most users preferred the more mechanical looking robot (Poppy) over the toy-like robot (Nao).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1124
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Feedback
  • Humanoid robot
  • Kinect
  • NAO
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Poppy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Philosophy
  • Social Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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