Taking on the Teenagers – Using Adolescent Energy to Reduce Energy Use

This EPSRC funded programme incorporates research groups based in the PaCT Lab, Child Computer Interaction (ChiCI) group at the University of Central Lancashire, the Advanced Interaction Group at the University of Birmingham, the London Knowledge Lab (LKL) at IoE and Birkbeck and the Future Interactive Technology Lab at Swansea University. This research aims to investigate, develop, and evaluate mobile solutions to reduce teenage energy use. It actively involves teenagers in the project as design informants, evaluators and researchers. PaCT Lab role is to investigate teenagers’ understanding and attitudes towards energy saving:

    1. Determine appropriate metrics for evaluating changes in teenage perceptions and behaviour in relation to energy use
    1. Discover what teenagers think about energy
  • Discover the extent to which teenagers can participate as researchers.

For more information on this project go to http://mad4nrg.org

New Dynamics of Ageing: Mobility and Ageing

Ageing is generally associated with a decrease in mobility and social interaction and this decrease can be dependent upon various health and social factors. The aim of this project was to utilise an innovative method for mapping the mobility of the oldest-old members of an existing 20 year longitudinal study of ageing.

The project drew upon activity monitoring methods and combined these with data from state-of-art location-aware technologies in order to develop new metrics. These were then used to describe the relationship between mobility and physical and mental well-being.

The project worked with a local company using GPS location awareness devices in order to track the movements of a group of older adults while eliciting their privacy concerns around such forms of personal monitoring.

DALI: Designing Assisted Living

This is an FP7 European funded project. The aim of the DALi project is to produce a device that will prolong out-of-home mobility for older adults. One key to successful ageing is the ability to stay independently mobile, enabling sustained levels of physical and social activity. In DALi, we pursue autonomous mobility through the development of our “c-walker”. This aid will provide physical, cognitive and emotional support to older adults in public environments such as shopping centres and airports.

The c-walker supports navigation in crowded and unstructured spaces by acquiring sensory information, and deciding on a path that minimises the risk of accidents. This is an assistive technology, as such, recommendations are passed to the user who remains in control of the final decision.

Ambient-Assisted Living: Freedom to Roam

The TSB project, Freedom to roam project is a £3M consortium project, led by CBSL, that includes Newcastle City Council, Hull City Council, O2 Telefonica, Northern Rock Foundation, Scottish Centre for Telehealth, Quality of Life Partnership, The Essentia Group, Trackaphone Limited and Northumbria University. The project has been designed to address issues such as social and digital inclusion, information and advocacy (e.g. access and use of personal budgets), telecare and telehealth and independent living.

Our role, as the only academic partners is to facilitate user centred requirements gathering and evaluation to ensure that the project is user rather than technology led. We are utilising scenarios and storyboards to identify future acceptable roles and requirements for technology in older adults lives to support mobility, reduce social isolation and find information.


In the cSALSA project, we take a lifespan approach to studying how cyber-security is understood, and the attitudes and behaviours of people to cyber-security and risk.

The project studies cyber-security across three main life stages – amongst young people, those of working age, and older people. The research project focuses on how people’s attitudes and behaviours towards cyber-security and risk change across the lifespan in sync with their goals and aspirations, cognitive abilities and knowledge and ability to control and adapt their cyber-security behaviour.

Importantly, we recognize that neither cyber-security related behaviours nor life course development occur in a vacuum. Rather, they are part of a complex inter-play of individual characteristics, elements shared with others in a particular life stage, and the dynamic context in which the person finds themselves. These contexts include aspects of family life, organizational structures, cognitive capacity and knowledge, and social support networks.

Website: www.csalsa.uk


ACANTO (www.ict-acanto.eu) is a Horizon 2020 project designed to improve people’s social and physical wellbeing and focuses on the 60+, post-retirement demographic. The ACANTO system has four major components that are under development:

• The FriWalk is a robotic guide situated in centres of interests (e.g. shopping centres and museums) which people can use during their visit. It can provide physical support, navigation instructions, and even virtual tours. This device also has a clinical version, used in hospitals and rehabilitation centres to assess patients, recommend exercises, and monitor progress over time. The nexus of these devices provides a system of support for patients who have left rehabilitation and need support to be more physically and socially involved.

• A social network links users together based on similar interests (e.g. local history, art, and theatre) and recommends activities for them to do together. These recommendations are customised, may involve people users do not previously know, and aim to encourage social and physical involvement.

• A recommender system that gathers data from the user both explicitly (via the social network) and implicitly (based on geographical habits and interaction with the devices) to suggest activities for them to do with other people.

• The FriTab is a device/app that allows the user to control the FriWalk and access the social network.