A multi-perspective evaluation of a service robot for seniors: the voice of different stakeholders

Sandra Bedaf*, Patrizia Marti, Farshid Amirabdollahian, Luc de Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Purpose: The potential of service robots for seniors is given increasing attention as the ageing population in Western countries will continue to grow as well as the demand for home care. In order to capture the experience of living with a robot at home, a multi-perspective evaluation was conducted. Methods: Older adults (n = 10) were invited to execute an actual interaction scenario with the Care-O-bot VR robot in a home-like environment and were questioned about their experiences. Additionally, interviews were conducted with the elderly participants, informal carers (n = 7) and professional caregivers (n = 11). Results: Seniors showed to be more keen to accept the robot than their caregivers and relatives. However, the robot in its current form was found to be too limited and participants wished the robot could perform more complex tasks. In order to be acceptable a future robot should execute these complex tasks based on the personal preferences of the user which would require the robot to be flexible and extremely smart, comparable to the care that is delivered by a human carer. Conclusions: Developing the functional features to perform activities is not the only challenge in robot development that deserves the attention of robot developers. The development of social behaviour and skills should be addressed as well. This is possible adopting a person-centred design approach, which relies on validation activities with actual users in realistic environments, similar to those described in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Ageing in place
  • service robots
  • older adults
  • independent living
  • PEOPLE

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