Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?

Date:
October 25, 2012
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Robots have the potential to help older adults with daily activities that can become more challenging with age. But are people willing to use and accept the new technology? A new study indicates the answer is yes, unless the tasks involve personal care or social activities.

A Georgia Tech study indicates that older adults are willing to use and accept robots in the home for daily tasks, unless those tasks involve personal care or social activities. ()
Credit: Photo courtesy of Wendy Rogers/Georgia Tech

Robots have the potential to help older adults with daily activities that can become more challenging with age. But are people willing to use and accept the new technology? A study by the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates the answer is yes, unless the tasks involve personal care or social activities.

After showing adults (ages 65 to 93 years) a video of a robot's capabilities, researchers interviewed them about their willingness for assistance with 48 common household tasks. Participants generally preferred robotic help over human help for chores such as cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and taking out the trash. But when it came to help getting dressed, eating and bathing, the adults tended to say they would prefer human assistance over robot assistance. They also preferred human help for social activities, such as calling family and friends or entertaining guests.

Georgia Tech's Cory-Ann Smarr will present the results this week at the Human Factors Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting in Boston.

"There are many misconceptions about older adults having negative attitudes toward robots," said Smarr, a School of Psychology graduate teaching assistant. "The people we interviewed were very enthusiastic and optimistic about robots in their daily lives. They were also very particular in their preferences, something that can assist researchers as they determine what to design and introduce in the home."

Smarr and Psychology Professor Wendy Rogers, the principal investigator on the project, also noticed that preferences varied across tasks, such as medication. For instance, adults said they are willing to use a robot for reminders to take medicine, but they are more comfortable if a person helps them decide which medication to take.

"It seems that older people are less likely to trust a robot with decision-making tasks than with monitoring or physical assistance," said Rogers. "Researchers should be careful not to generalize preferences when designing assistive robots."

The older adults in the study were all healthy and independent, and nearly 75 percent said they used everyday technologies such as cell phones and appliances. Many said they don't need immediate assistance. The research team is planning future studies for adults who currently need help with everyday tasks.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant PO1 AG17211. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National lnstitutes of Health. The project is also supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Award Number CBET-0932592 and CNS-0958545).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025161518.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2012, October 25). Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025161518.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025161518.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sprint's Custom Prepaid Plans Draw Net Neutrality Fire

Sprint's Custom Prepaid Plans Draw Net Neutrality Fire

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Sprint's Virgin Mobile Custom plan offers optional social network access that doesn't count against data caps — but critics are crying foul. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins