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How robotic systems can influence motivation in sport

ORF reports on the RobPerMot project and Pepper, the robot that supports trainings sessions

In the RobPerMot project, the AIT Center for Technology Experience together with Profactor and the Sportunion NÖ are investigating the effects of physical robot systems on motivation in sport. The research project, funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), aims to find out what a potential robot-supported implementation of persuasion and coaching strategies (such as reward systems) could look like. "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.

Together with the trainers, various use cases were developed where robot Pepper can support and motivate in everyday training or rehabilitation. For example, Pepper can guide an exercise with squats and also give feedback on the quality of the execution. In addition to various reaction trainings, the robot can also play "musical chairs" with a group, for example. 

The ORF was also present at the first session in the gym and reported on how robot Pepper supports the St.Pölten Falcons (Handball 2. Bundesliga) in their training.

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