PsychNology Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, 229 - 252

Psychological Implications of Domestic Assistive Technology for the Elderly

Amedeo Cesta
Planning and Scheduling TeamISTC-CNR, National Research Council of Italy,Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

Gabriella Cortellessa
Planning and Scheduling TeamISTC-CNR, National Research Council of Italy,Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

M. Vittoria Giuliani
Environmental Psychology UnitISTC-CNR, National Research Council of ItalyInstitute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

Federico Pecora
Planning and Scheduling TeamISTC-CNR,National Research Council of Italy,Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

Massimiliano Scopelliti
Environmental Psychology UnitISTC-CNR, National Research Council of ItalyInstitute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

Lorenza Tiberio
Environmental Psychology UnitISTC-CNR, National Research Council of ItalyInstitute for Cognitive Science and Technology, Rome (Italy)

 

ABSTRACT

The ROBOCARE Domestic Environment (RDE) is the result of a three-year project aimed at developing cognitive support technology for elderly people. Specifically, the domestic environment is equipped with sensors, intelligent software components and devices which cooperate to provide cognitive support to the assisted person. The ROBOCARE interaction capabilities have been concentrated in a robotic mediator who acts as the main communication channel between the users and the intelligent domestic environment. This paper presents an evaluation of elderly people's perception of assistive robots and smart domotic environments. Results show how the acceptability of robotic devices in home setting does not depend only on the practical benefits they can provide, but also on complex relationships between the cognitive, affective and emotional components of people's images of robot. Specially, we analyzes a number of evaluation criteria related to the robot's aspect, the way in which it communicates with the user, and the perceived usefulness of its support services. Among these criteria, the paper proposes and reports an evaluation of how perceived frailty, with reference to both health in general and fear of cognitive weakening, more specifically, can influence the evaluation of a potential aid in everyday life, namely the robotic assistant. The paper also provides a discussion which can be useful for the design of future assistive agents and socially interactive robotic.

 

KEYWORDS

socially assistive robots, intelligent sensorised environments, evaluation of human-robot interactions, acceptability, perceived health.

CITE AS

Cesta, A., Cortellessa, G., Giuliani, M.V., Pecora, F., Scopelliti, M., & Tiberio, L. (2007). Psychological Implications of Domestic Assistive Technology for the Elderly. PsychNology Journal, 5(3), 229 – 252. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

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