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Research Equipment- Services
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Research and development efforts at the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT) aim, among other, at identifying sustainable solutions for providing intelligent support to all for everyday mobility and transport. These include pre-trip support (e.g., while at home) and on trip support (e.g., while in car or on train).

Since 2008, as a means to support research in this direction, at HIT operates the Home & Travel Automation Laboratory, an enhanced domotics facility. This effort was originally initiated within the framework of the ASK-IT Integrated Project (co-financed by the EC under the eInclusion initiative of 6th FP – see http://www.ask-it.org/).

Purpose and Principles

One may also think of this infrastructure as “mobile domotics infrastructure”, as it aims at addressing:

  • the need of modern, mobile users (travellers using PDA, mobile phone, etc.) to be able to access and control the status of private homes while on trip in order to feel more comfortable with getting on travelling and leaving their houses unattended (incl. the corresponding in-house electrical appliances).
  • specific automation requirements for private homes aiming at comfort and security for residents.
  • various user requirements, including those of elderly and disabled people, in terms of pre-trip support while at home (i.e., helping individuals in their travel preparations, such as create a new itinerary or collect information and guidance regarding a tip in mind).

End - user

Without Mobile Domotics Infrastructure

With Mobile Domotics Infrastructure

Without HIT’s pre-trip and on-trip support services

Has to face alone the complexity of modern lifestyle and transport

Enjoys increased home automation capabilities at home and away

With HIT’s pre-trip and on-trip support services

Enjoys increased capabilities and comfort in organising (everyday) travel

Enjoys increased empowerment, independence and comfort everywhere

Our driving principles:

  • Το strive towards perceived usefulness and ease of use
  • To fosterindividual mobility
  • To enhance and apply inclusive and design for all approaches;
  • To ensure acceptable
  • To promote interoperability and
  • To promote integration of information and services.

At home: Accessible home automation and pre-trip support

The in-house infrastructure of HIT’s Home & Travel Automation Laboratory temporarily consists of a single room that simulates a whole flat with the following basic rooms: living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

Although many techniques used in house automation are also used in HIT’s Domotics Lab (such as light and climate control, control of doors and window shutters, security and surveillance systems, etc.), additional functions are considered, such as the control of a multi-media home entertainment system, environment-adaptation according to various preference settings (such as automatic scenes for dinners and parties) and to diverse user profiles (deaf, blind, wheelchair user, etc.). The ambient intelligent environment is further supported by several user-friendly and accessible control interfaces, including a Media Center, PCs, Wall-mounted touch screens, and wheelchair control -based interaction for the disabled.

To this end, a number of sensors and cameras have been installed (temperature, humidity, brightness, and motion sensors, etc.). From a top level point of view the system makes use of both wired and wireless network communication mediums. Two different middleware were used in order to test the feasibility and connectivity issues via wireless transmission. The first one is the OSGi and it is applied for PDA and PC devices. The second one is the JADE framework, which is based in Agent’s structure. It is applied for more limited devices, such as Symbian mobile and smart phones (see next paragraph).

Finally, the domotic modules are integrated with the ASK-IT platform providing a user interface under the common ASK-IT client software, and thus acting simultaneously as a centralised place for accessing all ASK-IT services from home (Route planning, Searching for Points of Interest, e-Learning, e-Working, etc.).

HIT’s domotic lab has also been design with particular attention to the needs of wheelchair and visually impaired users. Wheelchair users may interact with all the developed interfaces by means of the wheelchair’s joystick. In terms of software adaptation, the UIs can adapt to the user’s profile and all input devices are interfaced as “plug and play” devices that the host machines (Media center, PC, PDA, etc.) recognize as standard input devices. In addition, physical accessibility has been considered, e.g., the wall-mounted displays are placed in a lower height so that they can be accessed by individuals on wheelchairs.

For the visually impaired, adaptation of the graphical user interfaces at the client application was implemented allowing for instance settings with larger fonts and higher contrast ratios as shown in the figure below.

On the road: Mobile access and control

An innovative aspect of this work is that of mobility and freedom offered to the user with regards to Home automation access and control. In order to support the modern citizen in travelling around the city and the world, HIT has produced user-friendly control interfaces for Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and smart phones.

In this way, users can from anywhere in the world alter, or get informed about, the status of their home appliances and intelligent systems, e.g., set the oven on to warm-up the food while on the way to home with the car, and remain assured that the system will act smartly, e.g., if smoke is detected. Current messaging solutions include direct messaging through pop-messages and SMS-based messaging.

Events and News
MyCorridor Workshop : Mobility-as a-service across borders
Mobility-as a-service across borders
Thessaloniki, Greece, Greece09 Feb 2018

Ageing better IN real LIFE!
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Madrid, Spain17 Jan 2018

SKILLFUL project conference
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Brussels, Belgium20 Oct 2017

1st Pan-European SAFE STRIP Workshop
The SAFE STRIP project Consortium will organize its 1st Pan-European Workshop to be held on Septembe1...
Thessaloniki, Greece27 Sep 2017

Workshop on Accessible Transportation
The Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT) would like to invite you to a Workshop on Accessibl1...
Thessaloniki, Greece27 Sep 2017

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