CO-HUMANICS Project: Work Package Evaluation

The CO-HUMANICS project (Co-presence of Humans and Interactive Companions for Seniors; is carried out by a consortium at the TU Ilmenau and funded by the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung as a part of the program Durchbrüche 2020 ( The project will use a user-centered design approach to develop innovative technologies that make it easier for older people to maintain social contacts and actively participate in social life. The innovative technologies to be developed are based on augmented reality and social robotics.

TU Ilmenau
TU Ilmenau

Within the CO-HUMANICS project, the Research Group Media Psychology and Media Design is responsible for the work package Evaluation.

Principal investigator is Prof. Dr. Nicola Döring.
The communication scientists Melisa Conde, M.A., and Veronika Mikhailova, M.A. are involved in the project.

In the evaluation work package, the aim is to empirically investigate how older people, their friends and relatives, and professionals use digital information and communication technologies to date and how they assess the innovative CO-HUMANICS technologies to be developed (based on robotics and augmented reality) and with what effects they use them. In the course of user-centered technology development, investigations with prototypes and demonstrators will be used.


Information for seniors participating in the CO-HUMANICS project can be found here: Events


Work results to date:



Survey on grandparent-grandchild communication


An online survey of students was conducted in February 2021 to explore how young adults communicate with their grandparents through media. In addition, an integrated online vignette experiment was conducted to examine how young adults view CO-HUMANICS scenarios with regard to communication with their grandparents. For the empirical preliminary study, a positive ethics vote of the ethics committee of the Technical University of Ilmenau has been obtained (January 19, 2021) and a pre-registration is available.

For a brief description of the results see here.

Döring, N., Mikhailova, V., Brandenburg, K., Broll, W., Gross, H.‑M., Werner, S., & Raake, A. (2022). Digital Media in Intergenerational Communication: Status Quo and Future Scenarios for the Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship. Universal Access in the Information Society

Doering, N., Mikhailova, V., Brandenburg, K., Broll, W., Gross, H.‑M., Werner, S., & Raake, A. (2021, 3.-5. November). Saying “Hi” to Grandma in Nine Different Ways: Established and Innovative Communication Media in the Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship. Technology, Mind & Society 2021, Virtual Conference. PDF

Combating loneliness and social isolation among older people using digital technologies (review of previous research)

The state of international research on combating loneliness and social isolation in older people using digital technologies was reviewed and presented in the form of a scoping review of reviews according to the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR).

Döring, N., Conde, M., Brandenburg, K., Broll, W., Gross, H.-M., Werner, S., & Raake, A. (2022). Can Communication Technologies Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older People? A Scoping Review of Reviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(18), 11310.

Use and effects of innovative communication technologies among older people (review of previous research)

The state of research on the use and effects of innovative communication technologies among older people is currently being prepared for publication in the form of book chapters:

Döring, N. (in preparation). Social Media. In B. Schorb, A. Hartung-Griemberg, C. Bogen, J. Stiel, & M. Marquard (Hrsg.), Handbuch Mediengeragogik. Kopäd Verlag.

Döring, N., Conde, M., & Mikhailova, V. (in preparation). Avatare und Roboter. In B. Schorb, A. Hartung-Griemberg, C. Bogen, J. Stiel, & M. Marquard (Hrsg.), Handbuch Mediengeragogik. Kopäd Verlag.

Requirements analysis for the two CO-HUMANICS scenarios based on robotics and augmented reality

The requirements analysis will determine how older people, their relatives and friends, and professionals assess the CO-HUMANICS scenarios and what requirements they place on them. The requirements analysis includes individual interviews with N = 30 older adults who share their opinions and experiences with different technologies. Requirements analysis is a part of the human-centered design process and ensures that the expectations of future users are incorporated into technology development.

For the requirements analysis, a positive ethics vote of the ethics committee of the TU Ilmenau has been obtained (July 13, 2021). The study has been pre-registered.

Download recruitment flyer (Link).

The first results of the study were presented in the form of a poster at the Department Day of the Department of Economic Sciences and Media at the TU Ilmenau and at the HCI International 2023 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark:

Conde, M., Mikhailova, V., & Döring, N. (2023, June 21). Towards augmented reality-based and social robot-based social integration of older adults: A user requirements analysis [Poster presentation]. Fakultätstag 2023, Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany. 
***Best Poster award***

Conde, M., Mikhailova, V., & Döring, N. (2023). Towards augmented reality-based and social robot-based social integration of older adults: A user requirements analysisIn C. Stephanidis, M. Antona, S. Ntoa, & G. Salvendy (Eds.), HCI International 2023, 25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (Book Series: Communications in Computer and Information Science CCIS 1833), 426-432.

Detailed technology-based results of the requirements analysis are currently being prepared for publication in scientific journals:

Döring, N., Mikhailova, V., & Conde, M. (2023). Soziale Nähe durch Roboter und Avatare: Eine Chance für die alternde Gesellschaft? [Social closeness through robots and avatars: An opportunity for the aging society?]. Medien & Altern - Zeitschrift für Theorie und Praxis, 22, 71-86Link to journal

Mikhailova, V., Conde, M., & Döring, N. (2024). “Like a virtual family reunion”: Older adults defining requirements for an augmented reality communication system. Information, 15(1), Article 52.

Videoconference communication as a comparative condition to the CO-HUMANICS scenarios 

Conceptual analysis of the videoconference experiences and in particular the causes of videoconference fatigue.

Döring, N., Moor, K. D., Fiedler, M., Schoenenberg, K., & Raake, A. (2022). Videoconference Fatigue: A Conceptual Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(4), 2061.

Raake, A., Fiedler, M., Schoenenberg, K., Moor, K.D., Döring, N. (2022). Technological Factors Influencing Videoconferencing and Zoom Fatigue. arXiv:2202.01740. 

Networking events

German Senior Citizens' Day, November 24-26, 2021, online
Workshop "Exploring socio-technical research", September 22-23, 2022, TU Dresden