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 ( 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.


Work results to date:



Empirical preliminary study on digital grandchild-grandparent 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 preregistration is available.

For a brief description of the results see here.

A first publication of the empirical preliminary study is available and a second publication is in preparation:

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. Download PDF

Review of previous research on combating loneliness and social isolation using digital technologies

Since summer 2021, the international state of research on combating loneliness and social isolation among older people has been reviewed. This includes targeted interventions on the one hand, but also the self-directed use of technology by older people on the other.

A publication of the systematic review of the state of research is in preparation.

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, early prototype testing, and focus group discussions.

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).

Currently, the requirements analysis is being prepared. This includes the recruitment of the study participants and the development of the instruments and visual materials for the interviews, prototype tests and group discussions.

Subsequently, the first interviews, group discussions and prototype tests will be conducted.

Review of previous research on the use and impact of different digital communication technologies, including videoconferencing as a control condition in the CO-HUMANICS project

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.