Pet-Robot or Appliance? Care Home Residents with Dementia Respond to a Zoomorphic Floor Washing Robot

Emanuela Marchetti, Sophie Alice Grimme, Eva Hornecker, Avgi Kollakidou, Philipp Graf

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

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Abstract

Any active entity that shares space with people is interpreted as a social actor. Based on this notion, we explore how robots that integrate functional utility with a social role and character can integrate meaningfully into daily practice. Informed by interviews and observations, we designed a zoomorphic floor cleaning robot which playfully interacts with care home residents affected by dementia. A field study shows that playful interaction can facilitate the introduction of utilitarian robots in care homes, being nonthreatening and easy to make sense of. Residents previously reacted with distress to a Roomba robot, but were now amused by and played with our cartoonish cat robot or simply tolerated its presence. They showed awareness of the machine-nature of the robot, even while engaging in pretend-play. A playful approach to the design of functional robots can thus explicitly conceptualize such robots as social actors in their context of use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages21
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication dateApr 2022
Article number512
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391573
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
EventACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - New Orleans and hybrid, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 30. Apr 20225. May 2022
https://chi2022.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
LocationNew Orleans and hybrid
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period30/04/202205/05/2022
Internet address

Keywords

  • assistive robot
  • care home
  • character design
  • dementia
  • field study
  • playful design
  • pretend-play
  • social robot
  • toy

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