Author: Jun-Ming Lu, Yeh-Liang Hsu (2012-10-29); recommendation:
Yeh-Liang Hsu (2014-09-09).
Note: This paper was presented in the 20th IAGG World Congress
of Gerontology and Geriatrics: Digital Ageing: A New Horizon for Health Care
and Active Ageing, Seoul, Korea, 2013
Use of telepresence robots to facilitate ageing in place
Thanks to the
rapid progress of robotics, now we have a wide variety of robots to help the
elderly people to “age in place.” Autonomous robots are often employed to
assist or entertain the elderly people, but the elderly people may prefer
staying with those who they are familiar with. Telepresence robots further help
to take mental health care through interpersonal interaction, by means of
serving as the agent or avatar of their family members who live far away. From
this point of view, telepresence robots tend to have greater potential in the
field of elderly care and assistance.
The purpose of
this paper is to summarize such applications of telepresence robots, as well as
the key factors contributing to the successful “ageing in place” with these
robots. In the use of telepresence robots, the principle is to rebuild the
experience of face-to-face interaction between the remote controller and the
senior user who stays with the robot. This paper discusses the user acceptance
at both ends in terms of robot factors and human factors.
From the robot’s
perspective, its anthropomorphism, physical characteristics, and personality
are critical. From the senior user’s perspective, the user’s backgrounds,
experiences, and attitude toward robots need to be emphasized.
The findings can
offer some practical guidelines for researchers, professionals and
practitioners in this field. Finally, the current development of telepresence
robots in Gerontechnology Research Center Yuan Ze University is presented as an
example to illustrate how the guidelines can be implemented to facilitate
ageing in place.
Keywords: telepresence robot, aging
in place, interpersonal interaction