Maison Intelligente de Blagnac (MIB) Platform

Responsable :  Frédéric VELLA

The Maison Intelligente de Blagnac (MIB) is located on the campus of the IUT de Blagnac, a component of the University Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and is part of the group of platforms of the MSHS of Toulouse (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société). It is distinguished by its original approach, which is to federate a group of multidisciplinary actors from the technological, human, social and medical sciences.

The MIB, with its infrastructure and layout, is both a place of experimentation, innovation and training for researchers and students. It is also a meeting place for socio-economic actors, associations, industry and local authorities. It facilitates the development and transfer of technology.

For IRIT and its researchers in the fields of autonomy of people with disabilities, aging well and connected objects, this platform provides an essential framework for design, technology testing and user experience. The main objective of this platform is to allow them to conduct studies on the use and acceptability of new technologies in the field of inclusive habitats in controlled environments and to build databases for modeling user behavior.

The users of the MIB are teachers/researchers wishing to conduct innovations on technologies and their uses in the field of inclusive connected housing at home. Two teams (ELIPSE and RMESS) are currently heavily involved in the platform by developing cross-disciplinary research projects (IoT and human-computer interaction).

Finally, the MIB is also one of the three sites of deployment of the testbed LocURa4IoT (platform also labeled IRIT) which addresses the problem of indoor localization of IoT. As such, the part of the testbed deployed at the MIB allows to study the localization of the object in interaction situation, which is very complementary to the two other sites (office space and anechoic chamber).

Positioning of the platform in relation to existing platforms (local and national)

When it was created in 2010, the MIB platform was one of the first platforms of its kind in France. Associated with the Gerontopole of Toulouse, it is now a member of the LLSA forum (living labs in Health and Autonomy) in France. Its specificity is to constitute a connected, intelligent, modular, adaptable and incremental environment that lends itself well to the implementation of technology experiments within the framework of inclusive housing projects (from the expression of the need to the evaluation in a controlled environment).

In the Occitanie region, the MIB platform is unique in the context of housing in the process of innovation of technologies for home assistance. By its modularity and openness to various protocols (KNX, OpenHab, MQTT, etc.) it differs from the connected apartment of the HUT project (Human at home projectT) in Montpellier. The latter aims rather at studying the ethical, sociological and social dimensions of connected objects on the behaviors and daily well-being of individuals in their homes over a long period of time than at offering a modular design and testing environment for researchers.

Moreover, the MIB differs from other platforms and projects focused on the smart city (e.g. IRIT’s DAS Smart City) by focusing on the individual’s living space, and not the city as a whole. It also differs from other platforms such as those present in the Adream building at LAAS, which are mainly designed to address the issue of energy, its management and storage, which is not addressed in the MIB.

Technical Description, Organizational, Rate of use

Technical description – The MIB is an 80m² apartment and a 40m² observation/meeting room attached to the apartment. The whole is equipped with many technologies used in the fields of autonomy for people with disabilities and aging well. We find there :

  • a complete home automation infrastructure: lighting, blackouts, temperature management, …
  • a reconfigurable infrastructure of ambient sensors network: movement, luminosity, temperature, humidity,
  • various interoperability gateways (MiCom, MQTT and openHAB),
  • interchangeable human-machine interaction supports: various wall switches, large fixed touch tablets, small portable touch tablets, voice recognition and synthesis…
  • varied and configurable man-machine interactions: voice recognition agents, voice synthesis agents, textual conversational agents. For example, the MIB control touch interface for seniors, “InTacS”, is connected to the platform by means of MiCom,
  • a network of UWB wireless sensors dedicated to the centimetric localization of connected objects (LocURa4IoT),
  • a federating software bus for all the elements mentioned above.

In addition, the platform has an advanced audio/video observation infrastructure including fixed cameras, motorized cameras, and a 360° camera to be placed on a tablet, which is essential for observing people in interaction. Microphones distributed in the environment and a portable microphone, connected to a noise reduction DSP and a multi-track recorder complete the means of observation, live or in post-observation. This infrastructure has allowed the creation of a vocal database to study the interactions of seniors in their living spaces.

Organizational aspects – The platform is, technically, mainly managed by 4 researchers from IRIT and 1 researcher from LAAS, which are responsible for the scientific animation as well as the management of its daily use. The team of researchers is assisted, if necessary, by the technical staff of the general services of the IUT of Blagnac (two agents) for the maintenance in operational conditions of the platform, and an IGE of IRIT, Antonio Serpa, involved in the projects, for the organization of the experimental design.

Rate of use of the MIB – Except for the animation team, the MIB is made available to researchers who request it, if they are members of laboratories under agreement, or rented to external partners. The average rate of use by IRIT researchers is about 1 per week, with peaks of use during the testing phases of the deployed technologies and the development of multidimensional observation methods, and during experiments conducted with senior citizens. For example, during the agreement between IRIT, LAAS and AG2R La Mondiale, the experimentation took place over 18 months at a rate of two days per week (cohort of 150 elderly people) to observe the uses of the interaction techniques. Similarly, in the framework of the MAN project of the AUTON Challenge (Mission for Interdisciplinarity), IRIT researchers used the MIB for three months for the development of the experimentation and three times a week to implement the method of observation of scenarios of use of technologies with seniors with visual, motor and cognitive disorders. Currently, the MIB is used to illustrate and observe the applications of environmental control in the framework of the convention with Age Sans Frontière (partners: IRIT, LAAS, LERASS, LISST and CHU-de Toulouse) on inclusive habitats.

MIB Website