About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 3288-3295
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.0875
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
In a collaborative research project, we partnered with the professional education sector (healthcare) and a center for elderly care. Our primary objective was to introduce, design, implement, and evaluate the utilization of a social robot in the field of elderly care and more specifically in the open care day center activities. This paper aims to discuss the deployment of the humanoid robot in the elderly care context. We explore both caregivers’ and clients’ views and interactions as well as discuss the use case development as a part of our human-centered work in the field. The design process focused on creating a robot that not only performed practical tasks but also fostered a positive and engaging interaction with both caregivers and elderly clients. This approach aimed to enhance the overall well-being of the elderly residents and ease the workload of the caregivers. During the project and our study, we worked closely with the staff, the care givers, to integrate the social robot into their daily routines in a purposeful way. In the paper we use the case study method (incl observation and focus group interview data) to get provide an in depth, multi-perspective understanding of the deployment and role(s) of the robot and the interactions in the elderly care open care center.

Understanding how caregivers perceive and interact with the social robot is crucial for its successful integration into the care environment. Initial feedback and observations will be discussed, exploring aspects such as ease of use, perceived benefits, and any challenges faced by care givers in incorporating the robot into their care giving practices.

Research indicates that robots function most effectively when working in collaboration with humans, underscoring the importance of gaining the support of human collaborators. Robots are viewed as complementary tools, and within the healthcare sector, emotional attributes are typically reserved for human co-workers (Fuste-Forne, 2021; Hägglund et al, 2022).

Our study into the deployment of social robots in elderly care underscores the significance of a collaborative approach. By recognizing the complementary nature of robots and humans, addressing expectations, and providing targeted training we cold see a positive deployment in the selected context. However, more longitudinal studies are needed.
HRI, elderly care, human-centered.