International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Hygiene and the Use of Robotic Animals in Hospitals: A Review of the Literature

  • Tecla S. Scholten
  • Charlotte Vissenberg
  • Marcel Heerink


The aim of this study is to synthesize the existing literature on hospital hygiene and robotic animals to provide researchers and professionals that use robotic animals in this environment with tools and guidelines. The conducted literature review leads to the conclusion that cleaning procedures reported in the included studies and hygienic guidelines cannot be applied to currently available robotic animals due to excessive use of water, disinfectants and high temperatures. This study consequently raises questions about the application of these robotic animals in more vulnerable populations and adds to the understanding of the required conditions for robotic animals if being developed to be used in healthcare institutions.


Robotic animal Social robots Hygiene Literature review Reduced resistance Pathogenic microorganisms 



This research is part of the New Palls (‘Nieuwe Maatjes’) project, which is financed by the SIA-RAAK program of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Furthermore we want to express our gratitude to the staff at the Flevo Hospital in Almere for their cooperation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tecla S. Scholten
    • 1
  • Charlotte Vissenberg
    • 2
  • Marcel Heerink
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group RoboticsWindesheim Flevoland University for Applied SciencesAlmereThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Research Group Clients’ Perspectives in Health and Social WorkWindesheim Flevoland University for Applied SciencesAlmereThe Netherlands

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