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Motivation in sports through robot-assisted coaching

RobPerMot project launch

Motivation systems used in health and leisure contexts rely mainly on screen-based virtual trainers and peers connected via social networks as main motivators. In working contexts, information and gamification concepts are more and more used to increase motivation. The main goal in both areas is to achieve a certain level of compliance or adherence to rehabilitation, training or production plans. For such strategies there is a variety of commercial products and solutions. However, practice shows that it is often problematic to achieve a long-term effect with these existing approaches. The project consortium, consisting of the AIT Austrian Insitute of Technology (coordinator), Profactor and SPORTUNION Niederösterreich, is now investigating the effects of robot-based coaching and training approaches on the motivation of end users. The robot "Pepper", with which good experiences have already been made in cooperation with the Museum Arbeitswelt in Steyr, will be used.

In order to increase the acceptance of robot-assisted training offers, trainers and athletes must perceive them as meaningful and adapted to the respective needs. "At the Center for Technology Experience, we are investigating in various projects how robots and their tasks must be designed in order to have a positive effect on motivation. We have been successfully applying persuasion strategies in various application contexts for some time now," says project coordinator Andreas Sackl from the AIT Center for Technology Experience. These can, for example, be strategies to adapt personal mobility behaviour and to cover distances more often on foot or by bicycle instead of by car. The RobPerMot project is evaluating how such persuasion strategies can be usefully applied in the field of sport and coaching in order to increase the motivation of female athletes and ultimately achieve an improvement in health.

The project starts with three workshops in which the different needs of sports coaches from the fields of competitive, team and health sports are surveyed. The goal is to find a way for coaches and humanoid robots to work together as a team.


The RobPerMot project (FFG No.: 880841) is funded in the "IKT der Zukunft" programme of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG and the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK).

Further informations: www.ait.ac.at/robpermot

AIT-Contact: Andreas Sackl