ChefMySelf: A tablet and a kitchen robot working together to assist older adults

Fraunhofer AICOS is part of a European consortium within call 5 of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Program (AAL JP). The project, named ChefMySelf, will foster healthy eating habits and support meal preparation within the elder community.

The project has kicked-off last month and involves 6 partners beyond Fraunhofer AICOS: Fundació Cetemmsa and Polne (Taurus Group) from Spain, ME.TE.DA and Istituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura per Anziani from Italy, Unie KBO from the Netherlands and ASM from Poland.

The main goal of the ChefMySelf project is to develop a customizable, open and extensible cloud-based service ecosystem built around an automatic cooking solution to support elderly users in preparing meals and maintaining healthy eating habits. A food processor with an accessible interface, specially tailored for elders, will encourage their self-care, according to their particular nutrition requirements. In parallel, a social network focused on the topic of healthy ageing and eating will become a tool to motivate older adults to be active, maintain existing social relationships and create new ones.

The solution will offer culturally appropriate guidelines for healthy eating as people age, by supporting improved diets and healthy weight in older age through the provision of information (including personalized information on specific nutrition needs) by facilitating the task of cooking every day, as well as offering elders the chance to access several services related with cooking and guiding them to make healthy food choices; hence contributing to reduce risk factors associated with major diseases and increase factors that protect health throughout the life course.

The cloud based services will offer a suite of applications for the care of elderly nutrition and its support through the consultation of a complete reference of recipes. Other features, such as the review of daily caloric consumption, vitamins and minerals intake, will allow the user to be in control of his/her diet. The services will be accessible to elders through two different interfaces: one TV with a set-top box and a tablet device. Furthermore, a common food processor will be enhanced and coupled with these services to assist elders during meal preparation. This assistant will consist of a common food processor connected to the Internet with a specifically designed cooking interface to guide the user throughout meal preparation, receiving a selected recipe from one of the devices which will act as the primary user interfaces (tablet/set top box). In this manner, the ChefMySelf solution will support elderly people preventing possible malnutrition risks.

Taking advantage of advanced reasoning, examples of other services provided by ChefMySelf will be: a shopping assistant to help older adults in grocery shopping, a diet planner or a social network where older adults can interact with other users, share their own recipes or comment on other users’ recipes.