This article reports on the EU project ExCITE with specific focus on the technical development of the telepresence platform over a period of 42 months. The aim of the project was to assess the robustness and validity of the mobile robotic telepresence (MRP) system Giraff as a means to support elderly people and to foster their social interaction and participation. Embracing the idea of user-centered product refinement, the robot was tested over long periods of time in real homes. As such, the system development was driven by a strong involvement of elderly people and their caregivers but also by technical challenges associated with deploying the robot in real-world contexts. The results of the 42-months’ long evaluation is a system suitable for use in homes rather than a generic system suitable, for example, in office environments.

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