Socially Assistive Robots for the Aging Population: Are We Trapped in Stereotypes?
March 3, 2014 Bielefeld, Germany
Robots caring for the older population in care facilities and at home are an ongoing theme in HRI research. Research projects on this topic exist all over the globe in the USA, Europe, and Asia. All of these projects have the overall ambitious goal to increase the well-being of older adults and to enable them to stay at home as long as possible.
However, the recent Special Eurobarometer 382 on “Public attitudes towards robots” revealed that the wider public does not want robots to take care of the older population (even if the wording of the question was questionable), subsequently in this workshop we want to reflect whether the HRI community is trapped in stereotypes when it comes to socially assistive robots for older adults? Therefore we want to gather and compare findings from user needs analysis, user evaluation studies, as well as interaction scenarios and functionalities of existing care robots. Are our results suggesting similar scenarios? Do older end users in all countries have similar needs and desires when it comes to assistive robots? What are the challenges and opportunities for future assistive robots (maybe for those we develop for ourselves when we belong to the older population…) also on an ethical and legal level?
In this workshop we want to escape the stereotype trap what socially assistive robots should do. Can socially assistive robots solve the aging population problem on a societal and individual level? Are older people in general technology opponents? Will robotic helpers be accepted in the home as long as they pretend to be social actors?