Do-It-Yourself Adaptable Intelligent Domestic Environment

The DIY-Aide project, also named WP3.3 as part of the AGE WELL network, aims to: (1) propose a functional system that assist elders with cognitive impairments at home; (2) offer their natural caregivers an easy way to install DIY-Aide and to be reassured, either living at home with the elder or not; and (3) provide a link to technology developers, home and technology designers, and researchers to access user needs and requirements and to promote existing and emerging technologies.

More specifically, the DIY-Aide kit assembles different modules that can be installed alone, or together, and that assist different activities of daily living (ADLs). The modules are designed to be customizable by our three user groups (persons with dementia, caregivers, and developers). The modules are synthesized and united through a single middleware system that provides interfaces for caregivers (to customize individual ADL assistance), elders with cognitive impairments (prompts and other interventions), developers (to assess user needs and to promote products), domotic designers (to recommend home-based technologies for specific individuals and situations) and researchers (for inclusive and participatory research practices).

This research project continues under the name WP3.3b NEARS under the AGE WELL umbrella. See the NEARS project page and the AGE WELL network site for more information.


As of 2011, there were 747,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and that number is expected to double to 1.4 million by 2031. The number of Canadians over the age of 65 living at home with dementia is on the rise (over 55% at the moment). The DIY-Aide system aims at providing a solution for all these caregivers that feel worried about the possibility that their loved one can present dangerous behaviors such as wandering at night, not being able to feed themselves or to keep themselves or their house sanitary.

DIY-Aide is directed to deliver assistance for specific ADLs that the elders with cognitive impairments and their caregivers have established as problematic. A participatory approach is used to elicit aging needs, to elicit caregivers’ needs for installing DIY-Aide and for being reassured, and also to evaluate how the final system satisfies both caregivers and elderly persons. The technical approach concerns reasoning about specific ADLs for assistance and about the DIY-Aide system as a whole, including studies on distributed artificial intelligence, affective computing, probabilistic modeling, decision theory, embedded systems, Internet of things, autonomic computing and HCI.

Members of the team

Principal investigators

Hélène Pigot, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Jesse Hoey, University of Waterloo

Affiliated researchers

Sylvain Giroux, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Dominique Lorrain, Université de Sherbrooke

Julie Robillard, University of British Columbia

Research professionals

Marie-Michèle Rosa-Fortin, WP3 coordinator, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Pierre-Yves Groussard, technological coordinator, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Maxime Parenteau, software developer, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Stéphanie Stocco, occupational therapist, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Postdoctoral fellows

Damien Lockner, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Camila Oliveira, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Jyoti Joshi, University of Waterloo

Abhinav Dhall, University of Waterloo

PhD students

Hubert Kenfack-Ngankam, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

MSc students

Robert Radziszewski, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Vincent Grégoire, Domus laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Deepak Rishi, University of Waterloo

Cheryl Shang, University of Waterloo

Dan Wang, University of Waterloo

BSc students

Aaron Li, University of Waterloo

Alexis Thibault, Université de Sherbrooke


Camille Deguy, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Manon Moal, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke

Stéphanie Roy-Duarte, design industriel, Domus Laboratory, Université de Sherbrooke (from the Université de Montréal)


Journal articles
  1. Radziszewski, R., Kenfack Ngankam, H., Grégoire, V., Lorrain, D., Pigot, H. & Giroux, S. (2017) Designing Calm and Non-intrusive Ambient Assisted Living System for Monitoring Nighttime Wanderings, International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications. Vol. 13 no 2. pp. 114 - 129. DOI: 10.1108/IJPCC-02-2017-0015
  2. Teipel S, Babiloni C, Hoey J, Kaye J, Kirste T, Burmeister OK. Information and communication technology solutions for outdoor navigation in dementia. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2016 Jun 30;12(6):695-707.
  3. Hoey J, Schröder T, Alhothali A. Affect control processes: intelligent affective interaction using a partially observable Markov decision process. Artificial Intelligence. 2016 Jan 31;230:134-72.
Conference papers
  1. Kenfack Ngankam H., Pigot H., Frappier M., Oliveira C.H., Giroux S. (2017) Formal Specification for Ambient Assisted Living Scenarios. In: Ochoa S., Singh P., Bravo J. (eds) Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence. UCAmI 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10586. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-67585-5_51
  2. Oliveira C.H.S., Giroux S., Ngankam H. & Pigot H. (2017) Generating Bayesian Network Structures for Self-diagnosis of Sensor Networks in the Context of Ambient Assisted Living for Aging Well. In: Mokhtari M., Abdulrazak B., Aloulou H. (eds) Enhanced Quality of Life and Smart Living. ICOST 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10461. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66188-9_17
  3. Dhall A, Hoey J. First Impressions-Predicting User Personality from Twitter Profile Images. In International Workshop on Human Behavior Understanding 2016 Oct 15 (pp. 148-158). Springer International Publishing.
  4. Asghar N, Hoey J. Intelligent Affect: Rational Decision Making for Socially Aligned Agents. InProceedings of the 31st Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence 2015 (pp. 12-16).
  5. Radziszewski, R., Ngankam, H., Pigot, H., Grégoire, V., Lorrain, D. & Giroux, S. (2016) An ambient assisted living nighttime wandering system for elderly. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Information Integration and Web-based Applications and Services (iiWAS ’16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 368–374. DOI: 10.1145/3011141.3011171
Published abstracts
  1. Robert Radziszewski, Vincent Grégoire, Hubert Kenfack Ngankam, Dominique Lorrain, Hélène Pigot, Sylvain Giroux, Errance nocturne: limiter la déambulation et l'inquiétude de l'entourage. CAG2016. Canadian Association on Gerontology, 45th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting.Oct 20-22, 2016, Montreal, Canada, p.278. Read the abstract
  2. Hubert K. Ngankam, Camille Deguy, Manon Moal, Sylvain Giroux, Dominique Lorrain, Hélène Pigot (2016). Smart daily objects for ageing well at home. Age Well Annual Conference. Montréal, 18-20 octobre 2016. Conference Abstract Booklet. p.29 Read the abstract
Oral presentation
  1. Sylvain Giroux, Do It Yourself: Adaptable Intelligent Domestic Environments (DIY-AIDE), PANEL 5: The silver economy is booming: how do we get Quebec companies and start-ups to show greater interest?, La Foire Age 3.0 - Vieillir dans la ville, Université Concordia, 1er novembre 2017.
Poster presentations
  1. Stéphanie Roy-Duarte, Helene Pigot (2016 Aug). Errance nocturne. Age 3.0 the creative aging fair. Montréal, 2016 Aug 25.
  2. Vincent Grégoire, Sara Caron, Denis Bélisle, Dominique Lorrain. Relation between light exposure and motor activity in sundowning institutionalized patients. 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the CAG. Calgary, 2015 Oct 25.
  3. Robert Radziszewski,Vincent Grégoire, Sylvain Giroux, Dominique Lorrain, Helene Pigot, Jesse Hoey. Adapted Environment and Night Wandering in Neurodegenerative Aging. AGE-WELL’s 1st Annual Conference & AGM. Calgary, 2015 Oct 21-23.
  1. Helene Pigot, Marie-Michèle Rosa-Fortin, Pierre-Yves Groussard. Exhibition of technologies. Université Concordia, Montréal, 2016 Aug 25.  

Awards and Recognition

  1. Stéphanie Roy-Duarte, Helene Pigot. Best poster presentation for "Errance nocturne". Age 3.0 the creative aging fair. Montréal, 2016 Aug 25.