Selecting services for a service robot: Evaluating the problematic activities threatening the independence of elderly persons
13th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
Abstract—Sustaining independent living for the elderly is desirable both for the individual as well as for societies as a whole. Substantial care interventions are provided to citizens supporting their independent living. Currently, such interventions are primarily based on human care provision, but due to demographic changes the demand for such support is continuously increasing. Assistive Robotics has the potential to answer this growing demand. The notions research towards service robots that support the independence of elderly people has been given increased attention. The challenge is to develop robots that are able to adequately support with those activities that pose the greatest problems for elderly people seeking to remain independent. In order to develop the capabilities of the Care-O-bot 3 in the ACCOMPANY project, problematic activities that may threaten continued independent living of elderly people were studied. Focus groups were conducted in the Netherlands, UK, and France and included three separate user groups: (1) elderly (N=41), (2) formal caregivers (N=40), and (3) informal caregivers (N=32). This resulted in a top 3 of problematic activity domains that received the highest priority: (1) Mobility, (2) Self-care, and (3) Social isolation. The findings inform the further development of the Care-O-bot. In the ACCOMPANY project the Care-O-bot 3 will be developed further to enable it to support independently living older persons in one of these domains.