University of Hertfordshire

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A Multi-Perspective Evaluation of a Service Robot for Seniors: the Voice of Different Stakeholders

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Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Early online date31 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jul 2017


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 multiperspective
evaluation was conducted.
Methods: Older adults (n = 10) were invited to execute an actual interaction scenario with the Care-O-bot® 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.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology on 31 July 2017, available online at doi: Under embargo until 31 July 2018.


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