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The story of the SYSIASS project in 7 chapters. Annemarie Kokosy SYSIASS Project Manager Head of the Service Robotics Team ISEN-Lille, France. Chapter 1: IDEA’s genesis. Idea’s Genesis. 2008 Team of Service Robotics – ISEN-Lille

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the story of the sysiass project in 7 chapters

The story of the SYSIASS project in 7 chapters

Annemarie Kokosy

SYSIASS Project Manager

Head of the Service Robotics Team

ISEN-Lille, France

idea s genesis
Idea’s Genesis
  • 2008
    • Team of Service Robotics – ISEN-Lille
      • Competences: autonomous navigation of mobile robots and team of mobile robots
      • Work in collaboration withSyNeR Team, LAGIS, UMR CNRS 8219

Find an usefull application for the society

Smart wheelchair

the genesis of the project
The genesis of the project
  • 2008
    • Lille Catholic University
      • Stimulate and support interdisciplinary projects
      • University’s cluster “Disability, Dependence and Civil Action”

(Handicap dépendance et citoyenneté)

Dr. Cécile Donzé

Head of Medical Physics and Rehabilitation

GHICL, Hospital St Philibert, Lomme

The autonomous powered wheelchair should open a new generation of services for disabled people

importance of assistive technologies in france
Importance of assistive technologies in France
  • 2008
    • Some figures (French parliamentary report Poletti, 2008)
      • 1,8 million people use a wheelchair at home
      • 1,4 million people have a motor impairment associated with other disabilities
      • 5,4 millions people use assistive technologies
        • Including 5 million people who use it at home
      • Assistive technologies
        • Human-Machine Interfaces for communication
        • Assistive Domotics
      • There are around 150 models of powered wheelchair
      • Price between 2 700 € and 30 000 €.
bench to lifeside
  • 2008
    • Two major questions
      • Smart wheelchairwill not onlybe a «roboticbench»?
        • Best researchstrategy ?
        • Best partnership?
      • How canthisprojectbefunded?
        • Institutions
        • Companies
        • Europe
research strategy


  • The user in the center of the development process



Prototypes clinically tested

a solid partnership
A solid partnership
  • Former Interreg III A project: ACOS
    • ISEN-Lille
      • Ecole Centrale de Lille & CNRS
      • GroupeHospitalierInstitutCatholique de Lille (GHICL)
    • University of Kent
      • University of Essex
      • East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT)

Thierry Floquet


Prof. Huosheng Hu

Head of Robotic Team

Prof. Klaus McDonald-Maier

Head of Embedded

& Intelligent Systems Research

Gareth Howells

Matthew Pepper

Dr. Mohamed Sakel

Dr. Cécile Donzé

Head Med. Physics & Rehab.

GHICL, Hosp. St Philibert

Clinical Scientist

Director of NeuroRehabilitation

Director of R&D EKHUFT

sysiass key information
SYSIASS Key Information
  • Period: 1/12/2010 – 30/06/2014
  • Partners
    • Academic: ISEN, EcoleCentrale de Lille/LAGIS (CNRS), University of Kent, University of Essex
    • Hospitals: GroupeHospitalier de l’InstitutCatholique de Lille (GHICL), East Kent Hospitals
  • Collaborators
    • INRIA Nord-Europe, NON-A Team
  • Budget
    • 2,46M€ , 50% ERDF (Interreg IVA 2 Seas)
    • Additional support funding: Thales, Fondation Norbert Ségard, Lille Catholic University, SociétéGénérale
reconciling disability and independence
Reconciling disability and independence



Secure wireless communication





  • Improving people’s mobility
  • Facilitating user’s professional life integration


  • Evolving with user’s needs
project challenges
Project Challenges
  • Human challenges
    • Nature of help needed
    • Needs for safe navigation
    • Acceptance
  • Technical challenges
    • Connection to commercial powered wheelchairs
    • Ensure safe navigation
    • Ensure personalized and adaptive assistance
    • Provide low cost solutions
network of stakeholders
Network of stakeholders
  • Networks for disabled people support
    • Fondation de Garches: Bruno Guillon
    • CRNT-APF: Thierry Danigo
    • Kent Brain Injury Forum: Tanesh Bhugobaun
    • Centre Jacques Calvéde BercksurMer: AxelleBaillet et Stéphane Bouilland
    • Centre Hélène Borel: Capucine Fauquembergue
    • Foyer Médicaliséd’AccueilLa vie devantsoi: Elsa Bourdeaud’hui, Lucie Malapel, Thierry Piloquet, Audrey Ricouart
  • Industrial support
    • DynamicControls
devices for assisted navigation
Devices for assisted NAVIGATION
  • Questionnaire to know the user’s needs
    • 252 answers (November 2011 – May 2012)
  • Definition of 3 scenarios

Scenario 1: Safe navigation

 The intelligent device doesn’t correct the trajectory

Scenario 2: Semi-autonomous assisted navigation

        • The user drives the powered wheelchair
        • The intelligent device avoids obstacles and go through doorways with the user action on the loop

Scenario 3: Autonomous navigation

device for a safe navigation
Device for a safe navigation
  • DupontMedical with DynamicControls System
  • Tested by 32 people including 23 disabled people
    • Clinical testes to the Hospital of Garches
    • Other tests in the LivingLabHumanicité
      • Centre Hélène Borel
      • FAM La vie devantSoi
device for semi autonomous assisted navigation
Device for semi-autonomousassisted navigation
  • 3 versions: Invacare with DynamicControls System
  • Tested by 23 healthy people
  • Ethical approval obtained in May 2014  clinical trials to be conducted during summer in EKHUFT
device for autonomous navigation
Device forautonomous navigation
  • Localization, path planning and control algorithms
  • Navigation Packages in ROS
  • Implementation
    • mobile robot
    • wheelchair
hands free devices for wheelchair driving
Hands-FREE Devicesfor Wheelchairdriving
  • Visual Head Gesture
  • Facial Expression & Head Movement
  • Wireless IMU in a Baseball Cap
  • Wireless Voice based Control

Invacare Harrier with DynamicControls System

  • Tested by over 50 people including some disabled people
hands free devices for wheelchair driving1
Hands-FREE Devicesfor Wheelchairdriving
  • Minimally Invasive Intra-Oral Palate

Control Device

  • Tongue controlled RFID tag
  • Strain gauge RFID tag to sense the stretch on skin (neck/eyebrow movement)
secure communication device
SecureCommunication device
  • Use of ICmetric System
    • Uniquely identifying a particular circuit
      • Guarantees its identity and integrity
      • Ensures it has not been tampered with or modified
    • Generating asymmetric encryption keys based on properties of a circuit
      • Allows secure data to be sent to the device
      • Creates ICsignatures, guaranteeing the source of given data
work meetings
Work Meetings
  • 17 meetings
    • Quarterly meetings
    • Steering Committee meetings
  • 10 workshops
    • 2 days: 1 at ISEN, 1 at University of Essex, 1 at University of Kent
    • 4-5 days: 7 at University of Kent
communication events
Communication events
  • Annual Interreg IV A 2 Seas Event, Rotterdam March 2013
  • Press conference, November 2013
  • Organisation of two invited sessions on International Conferences
  • Joint publications
project communication
Project communication
  • Scientific publications
    • 9 International journals
    • 43 International conferences
    • 5 invited talks
  • General public
    • 30 articles in local press (La Voix du Nord, La Croix du Nord), or national press (Prima, Hacavie, Faire face, Panorama du medecin,, …)
    • 3 Radio broadcasts (VivreFM and Radio France Bleu)
    • 5 TV broadcasts ( France 3, F3 Nord Pas de Calais Matin, …)
    • 8 Exhibitions
  • Website

- Over 5000 viewing sessions (58% France, 26% USA, 7% UK,…)

people involved
People Involved
  • About 30 people involved on the project
  • 10 different nationalities represented
  • 12 functions (researchers, engineers, PhD student, physicians, clinical scientists, occupationaltherapists, psychologists, financialofficer …)
  • 12 People hired for one year or more
  • Several MsC students involved for 3 to 6 months
  • 3 PhD defenses


France 3, November 8th 2013


SYSIASS is the fruit of the enthusiasm of the people involved. TOGETHER we pushed SYSIASS from a technological integration to a lifeside reality!