e-VITA collaborates with a digital artist

Yves Gellie has been exploring robotics and artificial intelligence as a photographer and filmmaker for several years. His last movie, “The year of the Robot” (2019), has received 17 international awards and is now regularly screened in contemporary art museums.

By studying further the prospects of an intimate dialogue between human and machine in the e-Vita project, Yves Gellie depicts a close future where robots will be able to break the “older adults” isolation by accompanying and supporting them on their daily life.

The videos take the viewer through personal stories made of desires, fears and emerging relationships where the robotic and human protagonists ask each other about their future life together.

The footage includes different shots made in in Germany, Japan and France, allowing us to perceive the different cultural approaches between Asia and Europe.

A New Life Stream

This video is a presentation of the different pilot sites involved in the e-VITA project, in laboratories and in older people in Japan, Germany and France. It is a summary of the main ongoing research that shows the progress of the development of technologies that will evolve to meet the wishes of the older adults included in the project.
©Yves Gellie


A Japanese pensioner who has just moved to a nursing home near Tokyo wants to confide in her new daily life to a “Daruma”, endowed with artificial intelligence.
©Yves Gellie

Attempt at dialogue

Mrs. Ishikawa tries to establish a contact with Hikari, a robot in the form of a hologram. She would like to tell him about her new home in an old people’s home and the problems she has in her daily life. The exchange turns into a dialogue of the deaf, which leads her to give up.
In this video shot in Mrs. Ishikawa’s studio in Tohoku, Japan, Yves Gellie makes us feel the fragility and sometimes the difficulty of establishing a relationship with a robot.
©Yves Gellie

The Cat

Mrs. Takahashi’s fascination for Hikari, her future virtual coach, seems to trigger a jealousy crisis in her cat. The arrival of this artificial creature in her private space seems to disturb the cat. Mrs. Takahashi offers the robot to introduce her cat to him during a next visit.
In this video shot in Mrs. Takahashi’s apartment in Tohoku, Japan, the artist invites us to a new triangular dialogue but this time between a human, a robot and a cat.
©Yves Gellie

The White Sofa

Mr. Sakura, a Japanese pensioner starts a double dialogue, verbal and gestural, with a robot in the form of a hologram and a white sofa.
In this first encounter with this hologram, Mr Sakura discovers the possibilities of a rather comfortable dialogue on a white sofa and takes the opportunity to explore the personality of Hikari, the young girl with blue hair.
In this video shot in the living lab of Tohoku in Japan, the artist invites us to a new triangular dialogue but this time between a human, a robot and a white sofa.
©Yves Gellie

The Guardian Angel

Mr. Lei, a German participant to e-VITA project, questions the angel robot “Celeste” about his own finiteness, about the survival of his soul after death.
Mr. Lei is very religious, he wishes to find in the company of this robot a confidant, a kind of “keeper of conscience” who would accompany him in his daily life, who would guide him by his answers and his infinite knowledge of the Bible and the Holy Scriptures. Such a robot could help him to find a meaning to his daily life of believer. Mr. Lei will not have all the answers he hoped to have. But he expresses his desire to share his daily life with this spiritual robot.
In this video, Yves Gellie reveals the emergence of spiritual robotics, a concept that may seem improbable, belonging to the realm of science fiction. However, an Italian researcher based in Japan is devoting all his energy to developing the “Celeste” robot.
©Yves Gellie


The magical arrival of Hikari, a hologram of a young Japanese girl with blue hair, in the daily life of a Japanese pensioner.
In this video, Yves Gellie shows us the great familiarity of Japanese people with robots. Their desire for dialogue and exchange is immediate, the interaction natural, the robot is already a life companion. This is far from the more fearful and sometimes septic approach encountered in Europe.
©Yves Gellie

The partner

A retired German couple answers questions from a humanoid robot. 
In this video, Yves Gellie reverses the process of interaction between humans and machines. It is the robot that asks the questions and leads its interlocutors to reflect on their own position regarding the advent of AI and robotics in their daily environment.
©Yves Gellie


An older Japanese woman confides in a humanoid robot. She expresses the discomfort she would have in sharing her daily life with a male humanoid robot and explains why.
In this narrative process, the older Japanese woman engages in a very personal dialogue with the robot. This raises the problem of possible confidences made to a machine, their storage in the form of data and their use in studies.  An ethical approach adapted to machines is necessary. 
Yves Gellie evokes the ethical problems that are likely to emerge when faced with the intervention of machines in the daily life of isolated older people or people in difficulty.
©Yves Gellie


A Japanese pensioner engages in a dialogue with an android. They evoke in turn a possible life together, questioning their mutual needs, autonomy for the one, daily help for the other. 
The Japanese pensioner projects himself in a dialogue where the android aspires to its own autonomy. The robot is then transformed into a real partner capable of reasoning and imagining the help it can bring to its interlocutor.
In this video, Yves Gellie maintains a narrative process that oscillates between fiction and reality. This allows him to imagine a future where the machine will be able to guess and understand the needs of its interlocutors. 
©Yves Gellie

My Grandma

A young Japanese AI researcher questions a humanoid robot about its motivation and its ability to support her aging grandmother. 
Nao is used in the LivingLabs of e-VITA and was tested into the homes of older adults in Japan and Europe.
Through this narrative process, this young scientist projects herself into a future where AI and associated robotics will be able to empower themselves and respond to the challenges of aging. The robot is then transformed into a real operational assistant capable of making decisions adapted to the situations encountered.
In this video, Yves Gellie uses a narrative process that oscillates between fiction and reality. This allows him to imagine a future where the machine will be able to intervene in the daily life of isolated older people or those in difficulty. 
©Yves Gellie

The Workshop

Under the guidance of psychologists, a group of French retirees are taking part in a workshop that will give them the opportunity to imagine their ideal virtual companion in terms of both his or her daily role and physical appearance.
©Yves Gellie