Don’t be afraid! Design of a playful cleaning robot for people with dementia

Sophie Alice Grimme*, Avgi Kollakidou, Christian Sønderskov Zarp, Eva Hornecker, Norbert Krüger, Emanuela Marchetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Robot technologies for care homes and people affected by dementia has become a popular research field. However, such technologies have not become mainstream in care homes yet, due to specific issues related to the well being of their residents. For instance, although existing robot vacuum cleaners can provide meaningful support to hygiene practices in care homes, their appearance and loud noise can negatively affect residents. Building on these insights, we developed a playful alternative design. By testing our design in a care home, we have found that a robotic vacuum cleaner can be accepted by residents affected by dementia, when it has a playful appearance and movement pattern, to elicit positive feelings and provide predictability of its actions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
EventIHAW 2021: ICT for Health, Accessibility and Wellbeing - Online
Duration: 8. Nov 20219. Nov 2021
Conference number: 1


ConferenceIHAW 2021
Internet address


  • elderly care
  • mobile cleaning unit
  • robotic pet


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