Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 57–71 | Cite as

Evaluation of a Small Socially-Assistive Humanoid Robot in Intelligent Homes for the Care of the Elderly

  • Elena Torta
  • Franz Werner
  • David O. Johnson
  • James F. Juola
  • Raymond H. Cuijpers
  • Marco Bazzani
  • Johannes Oberzaucher
  • John Lemberger
  • Hadas Lewy
  • Joseph Bregman


The ageing population phenomenon is pushing the design of innovative solutions to provide assistance to the elderly. In this context a socially–assistive robot can act as a proactive interface in a smart-home environment, providing multimodal communication channels and generating positive feelings in users. The present paper reports results of a short term and a long term evaluation of a small socially assistive humanoid robot in a smart home environment. Eight elderly people tested an integrated smart–home robot system in five real–world scenarios. Six of the participants experienced the system in two sessions over a two week period; the other two participants had a prolonged experience of eight sessions over a three month period. Results showed that the small humanoid robot was trusted by the participants. A cross–cultural comparison showed that results were not due to the cultural background of the participants. The long term evaluation showed that the participants might engage in an emotional relationship with the robot, but that perceived enjoyment might decrease over time.


Socially–assistive robots Almere model Technology acceptance User studies 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Companionable Project.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    Giraff Technologies AB.
  5. 5.
    Robosoft Kompai.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Beer, J.M., Takayama, L.: Mobile remote presence systems for older adults: acceptance, benefits, and concerns. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, pp. 19–26. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bickmore, T.W., Picard, R.W.: Establishing and maintaining long-term human-computer relationships. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. (TOCHI) 12(2), 293–327 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bremner, J., Frost, A., Haub, C., Mather, M., Ringheim, K., Zuehlke, E.: World population highlights: key findings from PRB’s 2010 world population data sheet. Popul. Bull. 65(2) (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Broadbent, E., Stafford, R., MacDonald, B.: Acceptance of healthcare robots for the older population: review and future directions. Int. J. Soc. Robot. 1(4), 319–330 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cesta, A., Coradeschi, S., Cortellessa, G., Gonzalez, J., Tiberio, L., Von Rump, S.: Enabling social interaction through embodiment in excite. In: ForItAAL. Second Italian Forum on Ambient Assisted Living, pp. 5–7. Trento (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cesta, A., Cortellessa, G., Orlandini, A., Tiberio, L.: Evaluating telepresence robots in the field. In: Agents and Artificial Intelligence, pp. 433–448. Springer (2013)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fasola, J., Mataric, M.J.: Using socially assistive human–robot interaction to motivate physical exercise for older adults. Proc. IEEE 100(8), 2512–2526 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fernaeus, Y., Håkansson, M., Jacobsson, M., Ljungblad, S.: How do you play with a robotic toy animal?: a long-term study of pleo. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 39–48. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Forlizzi, J.: How robotic products become social products: an ethnographic study of cleaning in the home. In: Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE international conference on Human-robot interaction, pp. 129–136. ACM (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Giuliani, M.V., Scopelliti, M., Fornara, F.: Elderly people at home: technological help in everyday activities. In: IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2005, ROMAN 200, pp. 365–370. IEEE (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gonzalez-Jimenez, J., Galindo, C., Gutierrez-Castaneda, C.: Evaluation of a telepresence robot for the elderly: a spanish experience. In: Natural and Artificial Models in Computation and Biology, pp. 141–150. Springer (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Heerink, M., Kröse, B., Evers, V., Wielinga, B.: Assessing acceptance of assistive social agent technology by older adults: the almere model. Int. J. Soc. Robot. 2(4), 361–375 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Horvath, A.O., Greenberg, L.S.: Development and validation of the working alliance inventory. J. Counsel. Psychol. 36(2), 223 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kidd, C.D., Breazeal, C.: Robots at home: Understanding long-term human-robot interaction. In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2008. IROS 2008, pp. 3230–3235. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lombard, M., Ditton, T.: At the heart of it all: the concept of presence. J. Comput.-Mediated Commun. 3(2), 0–0 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pineau, J., Montemerlo, M., Pollack, M., Roy, N., Thrun, S.: Towards robotic assistants in nursing homes: challenges and results. Robot. Auton. Syst. 42(3-4), 271–281 (2003)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Podsiadlo, D., Richardson, S., et al.: The timed ”up & go”: a test of basic functional mobility for frail elderly persons. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 39(2), 142 (1991)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schroeter, C., Mueller, S., Volkhardt, M., Einhorn, E., Huijnen, C., van den Heuvel, H., van Berlo, A., Bley, A., Gross, H.-M.: Realization and user evaluation of a companion robot for people with mild cognitive impairments. In: International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013), pp. 1145–1151 (2013)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shibata, T., Wada, K., Tanie, K.: Statistical analysis and comparison of questionnaire results of subjective evaluations of seal robot in japan and uk. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2003, ICRA’03, vol. 3, pp. 3152–3157. IEEE (2003)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Torta, E., Oberzaucher, J., Werner, F., Cuijpers, R.H., Juola, J.F.: Attitudes towards socially assistive robots in intelligent homes: results from laboratory studies and field trials. J. Hum.-Robot Interact. 1(2), 76–99 (2012)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B., Davis, F.D.: User acceptance of information technology: toward a unified view. MIS quarterly, pp. 425–478 (2003)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Xu, Q., Ng, J.S.L., Cheong, Y.L., Tan, O.Y., Wong, J.B., Tay, B.T.C., Park, T.: Effect of scenario media on human-robot interaction evaluation. In: Proceedings of the 7th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, pp. 275–276. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yan, W., Weber, C., Wermter, S.: A hybrid probabilistic neural model for person tracking based on a ceiling-mounted camera. J. Ambient Intell. Smart Environ. 3(3), 237–252 (2011) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Torta
    • 1
  • Franz Werner
    • 2
  • David O. Johnson
    • 1
  • James F. Juola
    • 1
  • Raymond H. Cuijpers
    • 1
  • Marco Bazzani
    • 3
  • Johannes Oberzaucher
    • 2
  • John Lemberger
    • 4
  • Hadas Lewy
    • 4
  • Joseph Bregman
    • 4
  1. 1.Eindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CEIT RaltecInstitute of Rehabilitation and Assistive Living TechnologiesSchwechatAustria
  3. 3.Istituto Superiore Mario BoellaTorinoItaly
  4. 4.Maccabi Health Care ServicesTel-AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations