Grey but Mobile

Enhanced Care Service through Improved Mobility for Elderly People (Grey But Mobile) was about improving care-related mobility services for the elderly supporting independent living and social connectivity. Importantly, the quantitative and qualitative effects of these proposed services have contributed to the improved health of the elderly as well as to the economic efficiency of care.

Today, elderly live in their homes longer, predominantly because of improved home care. For reasons of efficiency and costs, this is considered a good development, but it has a downside too. Elderly often live alone and solitude is regarded to be a main cause of health problems. Keeping elderly socially connected and involved, requires them to remain mobile. However, current mobility solutions do not cater specifically for this group.

Mobile-care projects are currently being initiated in the context of the organization of services. A major constraint is the availability of dedicated vehicle-designs and interfaces between services and the means of mobility. A new class of vehicles is envisaged that will specifically relate to the needs of this age group: mobile solutions that will match the environmental, physical, mental and societal needs of the elderly.

What questions were answered?
Teams from 3 universities and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

What role does mobility play in the social integration of the elderly and what are their physical mobility needs?
What artefacts are currently available for the mobility of the elderly, which functions do they fulfil, and what is their quality?
How does the service structure for the elderly currently function and what are the constraints?
What PSS solutions can be developed to address the findings?
How can technology be utilized to improve elderly mobility?
What will the effect of these solutions (PSS)  be on the elderly, themselves?

What have the teams achieved?
We have generate a body of knowledge to be used by the creative industry to develop a new range of mobility solutions. Designs, models prototypes were built and tested in natural environments to demonstrate feasibility of these emerging concepts. Additionally, disseminated information to national and international parties involved in this new field of sustainable mobility,

Timeframe and communication:
Grey But Mobile started in 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we have published doctoral theses, articles in journals and conference proceedings. We have translated findings into value propositions for care-providers’ clients. Knowledge gained will be integrated into university and professional educational programmes. Progress will be published via this website and explored in workshops.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Twente University, Eindhoven University of Technology and the Design Academy Eindhoven;
Industry partners: Roessing Research,Tellens groep, Trivium Meulenbelt Zorg, Zuidzorg, De Loft, Indes, Arriva, Connexxion, Divaco, Waaijenberg.

Project leaders
dr. Lu Yuan, Eindhoven University of Technology
Ir. Marc Beusenberg, Twente University


  • Let's move together! Towards a social, mobile city Geel, L. van, Dols, S., Lu, Y.  This concept aims to make public transportation more accessible for elderly. IRIS calls for volunteering actions of a community of people to help elderly to travel by bus, without having to defer from their own trip.   Download

IRIS Travel planner

Iris was designed to support elderly people using public transportation system. Due to increasing use of digital technology in public transportation system (online ticketing, OV chipcard, and etc), some elderly people find it difficult to travel using the current system. Employing a step-wise approach based on design driven innovation, different stakeholders with different knowledge, experiences and skills including Hermes, Municipality Eindhoven, and TU/e have worked collaboratively in creating and evaluating IRIS concept. The approach consisted out of four different steps which started with the initiation of a design proposal by TU/e students, followed by a confrontation workshop, after which the concept was co-developed with the stakeholders, which finally resulted in a field pilot. Iris concept aims to make public transportation more accessible for elderly. IRIS calls for volunteering actions of a community of people to help elderly to travel by bus, without having to defer from their own trip.

See the movie here: