The INSENSION project aims to create an ICT platform that enables persons with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD, also referred to as PMLD – profound and multiple learning disabilities) to use digital applications and services that can enhance the quality of their lives, increase their ability to self-determination and enrich their lives. The target end-users of the proposed solution are capable of using only nonconventional, nonsymbolic means of interaction with their environment. Therefore, the platform aims to provide technological means for seamless and adaptable recognition of a range of highly individual nonsymbolic behavioral signals of people with PIMD to detect behavioral patterns happening in the context of specific situations. These patterns are translated into the affective ‘intents’ of the end-user (their approval or disapproval to the given situation) and that can be communicated to assistive applications. This way an individual with PIMD gains a possibility to seamlessly influence their living environment, through new means of communication with other people or direct changes in the surroundings.
The project uses recent achievements in a range of ICT disciplines equipping the proposed assistive ICT platform with natural behavior recognition mechanisms based on gesture, facial expression, and vocalization recognition technologies. This is complemented by novel techniques of artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art Internet of Things models. The research and development of the project is conducted within the inclusive design paradigm, with individuals with PIMD and their caregivers directly participating in the R+D process throughout the whole duration of the project. This process links a highly interdisciplinary team of experts of ICT specialists and researchers and practitioners of disability studies and care, with due participation of an assistive technology industry representatives.
The project is implemented by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Poland, Germany, Spain, and Slovenia. Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center is the leader of the consortium and conducts specialized ICT research and development in collaboration with Information and Communication Technology Centre Foundation CTIC and Jožef Stefan Institute. The ICT experts are supported with the know-how in special pedagogy and profound intellectual and multiple disabilities by the leading European research team in this discipline from the Heidelberg University of Education and practitioners from Na Tak Association. The commercialization potential of the new technology is evaluated by Harpo.