Overview and Categorization of Robots Supporting Independent Living of Elderly People: What Activities Do They Support and How Far Have They Developed

S. Bedaf*, G.J. Gelderblom, L. de Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Web of Science)


Over the past decades, many robots for the elderly have been developed, supporting different activities of elderly people. A systematic review in four scientific literature databases and a search in article references and European projects was performed in order to create an overview of robots supporting independent living of elderly people. The robots found were categorized based on their development stage, the activity domains they claim to support, and the type of support provided (i.e., physical, non-physical, and/or non-specified). In total, 107 robots for the elderly were identified. Six robots were still in a concept phase, 95 in a development phase, and six of these robots were commercially available. These robots claimed to provide support related to four activity domains: mobility, self-care, interpersonal interaction & relationships, and other activities. Of the many robots developed, only a small percentage is commercially available. Technical ambitions seem to be guiding robot development. To prolong independent living, the step towards physical support is inevitable and needs to be taken. However, it will be a long time before a robot will be capable of supporting multiple activities in a physical manner in the home of an elderly person in order to enhance their independent living.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-100
JournalAssistive Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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