Support for psychological stress at the workplace: Emotional mobile Avatar as coaching assistant (EmmA)

Cologne, 04 October 2018

About 15 percent of working people's sick days are due to mental disorders. But in Germany mental illnesses don't get the attention that actually be necessary to prevent longer absences and early retirement. The legislator has reacted to this alarming development and obliges employers to carry out a risk assessment regarding psychological factors and to take qualified countermeasures. In the "EmmA" project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), partners from industry and science are working on the use of a digital coaching assistant.


The purpose of the "EmmA" project is to develop an interactive, mobile assistance system that provides individual advice at the event of psychological stress and can also be used for risk assessment at the workplace and for reintegration into the workplace after a mental illness.

At present, less than a quarter of all establishments have a higher risk assessment. Not at least because psychological skilled personnel are a rarity in companies so far. The development of an interactive assistance system that individually advises employees in the event of mental (over) stress would be helpful in everyday working life in order to implement the legal requirements.

From a technical point of view, "EmmA" will accomplish a multimodal real-time sensor analysis with the help of sensors in the smartphone of the respective user, in which the physiological and social signals are recorded and interpreted. Building on this, a socio-emotional behavior model is developed and coupled to a virtual avatar that offers context-dependent help in difficult situations.

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH), Saarbrücken, the University of Augsburg with a focus on Human Centered Multimedia, SemVox GmbH, Saarbrücken and the Institute for Further Education in Psychotherapy (WIPS GmbH), Saarbrücken will work together under the direction of Charamel GmbH, Cologne, to achieve their goals over the next three years. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of "KMU-innovativ" with a focus on human-technology interaction. The project volume amounts to 1. 57 million euros, of which 73% is funded by the BMBF.


Project Name „EmmA“ - Emotional mobile Avatar as coaching assistant

Project Volume 1,57 Mio. € (ca. 73% funded by the BMBF)

Project Duration 01.09.2018 - 30.09.2021

Project Partners Charamel GmbH (project management)

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH), Saarbrücken

University of Augsburg - Human Centered Multimedia, Augsburg

SemVox GmbH, Saarbrücken

WIPS GmbH, Saarbrücken


Norbert Helf

Charamel GmbH

Richard-Wagner-Str. 39


D 50674 Köln

Tel. +49 (0) 221-33 66-40