A review of high-level robot functionality for elderly care

Sun, Nico and Yang, Erfu and Corney, Jonathan and Chen, Yi and Ma, Zeli (2018) A review of high-level robot functionality for elderly care. In: 24th International Conference on Automation & Computing, 2018-09-06 - 2018-09-07, Newcastle University.

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    Abstract

    This paper presents an evidence-based overview of the functionality that robotic care systems should provide. The results identify a number of key characteristics that range from existing commercial products to research prototypes. For example, social care needs voice assistance that already exists in the form of smart speakers. Such systems provide an opportunity for entertainment and the ability to stay in contact with caregivers, friends and family. Consequently, a good speech recognition and ability to perform conversations were highly valued by elderly users. In contrast, care robots providing physical assistance still have not left the prototype phase and generally, do not have enough skills to be considered useful in the home. The results highlight the fact that the most common difficulties the elderly experience have not been solved and should be focused on in the future. The perception of usefulness and integration into the existing home of an elderly person are the main barriers to a robot being accepted as a part of the household. One of the paper’s conclusions is that an ecosystem open to independent developers could greatly increase the robotic skill-set and the chance that it can perform a useful task for its user.