International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 229–247 | Cite as

Domestic Robots for Older Adults: Attitudes, Preferences, and Potential

  • Cory-Ann Smarr
  • Tracy L. Mitzner
  • Jenay M. Beer
  • Akanksha Prakash
  • Tiffany L. Chen
  • Charles C. Kemp
  • Wendy A. Rogers
Article

Abstract

The population of older adults in America is expected to reach an unprecedented level in the near future. Some of them have difficulties with performing daily tasks and caregivers may not be able to match pace with the increasing need for assistance. Robots, especially mobile manipulators, have the potential for assisting older adults with daily tasks enabling them to live independently in their homes. However, little is known about their views of robot assistance in the home. Twenty-one independently living older Americans (65–93 years old) were asked about their preferences for and attitudes toward robot assistance via a structured group interview and questionnaires. In the group interview, they generated a diverse set of 121 tasks they would want a robot to assist them with in their homes. These data, along with their questionnaire responses, suggest that the older adults were generally open to robot assistance but were discriminating in their acceptance of assistance for different tasks. They preferred robot assistance over human assistance for tasks related to chores, manipulating objects, and information management. In contrast, they preferred human assistance to robot assistance for tasks related to personal care and leisure activities. Our study provides insights into older adults’ attitudes and preferences for robot assistance with everyday living tasks in the home which may inform the design of robots that will be more likely accepted by older adults.

Keywords

Older adults Assistive robotics Activities of daily living Robot acceptance 

Abbreviations

ADLs:

Self-Maintenance Activities of Daily Living

IADLs:

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

EADLs:

Enhanced Activities of Daily Living

PR2:

Personal Robot 2

M:

Mean

SD:

Standard Deviation

DRE:

Domestic Robot Ecology

t:

t-test value

df:

degrees of statistical freedom

p:

probability of type 1 error in a statistical test

Supplementary material

(MPG 74.4 MB)

References

  1. 1.
    Administration on Aging (2009) A profile of older Americans: 2009. http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/aging_statistics/Profile/index.aspx. Accessed 15 November 2012
  2. 2.
    American Association Retired Persons (2005) Beyond 50.05 survey. http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/beyond_50_05_survey.pdf. Accessed 15 November 2012
  3. 3.
    Lawton MP (1990) Aging and performance of home tasks. Hum Factors 32(5):527–536 Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rogers WA, Meyer B, Walker N, Fisk AD (1998) Functional limitations to daily living tasks in the aged: a focus group analysis. Hum Factors 40(1):111–125. doi:10.1518/001872098779480613 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fausset CB, Kelly AJ, Rogers WA, Fisk AD (2011) Challenges to aging in place: understanding home maintenance difficulties. J Hous Elderly 25(2):125–141. doi:10.1080/02763893.2011.571105 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Seidel D, Crilly N, Matthews FE, Jagger C, Clarkson PJ, Brayne C (2009) Patterns of functional loss among older people: a prospective analysis. Hum Factors 51(5):669–680. doi:10.1177/0018720809353597 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cruickshanks K, Wiley TL, Tweed TS, Klein BE, Klein R, Mares-Perlman JA, Nondahl DM (1998) Prevalence of hearing loss in older adults in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin: the epidemiology of hearing loss study. Am J Epidemiol 148:879–886 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    The Lighthouse Inc (1995) The Lighthouse national survey on vision loss: experience, attitudes, and knowledge of middle-aged and older Americans. http://www.lighthouse.org/research/archived-studies/national-survey/. Accessed 15 November 2012
  9. 9.
    Kelly AJ, Fausset CB, Rogers WA, Fisk AD (2012) Responding to home maintenance challenge scenarios: the role of selection, optimization, and compensation in aging-in-place. J Appl Gerontol. doi:10.1177/0733464812456631 Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Baltes MM, Lang FR (1997) Everyday functioning and successful aging: the impact of resources. Psychol Aging 12(3):433–443 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mitzner TL, Chen TL, Kemp CC, Rogers WA (2011) Older adults’ needs for assistance as a function of living environment. In: Hum factors and ergonomics soc 55th annu meet, Las Vegas, NV, pp 152–156 Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pew Research Center (2010) The return of the multi-generational family household. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/752-multi-generational-families.pdf. Accessed 15 November 2012
  13. 13.
    Fields J (2003) America’s families and living arrangements: 2003 (Current Population Reports P20-553). U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p20-553.pdf. Accessed 15 November 2012
  14. 14.
    Houser A, Gibson MJ, Redfoot DL (2010) Trends in family caregiving and paid home care for older people with disabilities in the community: data from the National Long-Term Care Survey. AARP Public Policy Institute. http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/ltc/2010-09-caregiving.pdf. Accessed 15 November 2012
  15. 15.
    Boyle G (2005) The role of autonomy in explaining mental ill-health and depression among older people in long-term care settings. Ageing Soc 25(5):731–748 CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baltes PB, Baltes MM (1990) Psychological perspectives on successful aging: the model of selective optimization with compensation. In: Baltes P, Baltes M (eds) Successful aging: perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 1–34 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heerink M, Kröse B, Evers V, Wielinga B (2010) Assessing acceptance of assistive social agent technology by older adults: the Almere model. Int J Soc Robot 2:361–375. doi:10.1007/s12369-010-0068-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ezer N, Fisk AD, Rogers WA (2009) Attitudinal and intentional acceptance of domestic robots by younger and older adults. Lect Notes Comput Sci 5615:39–48. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-02710-9_5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ezer N, Fisk AD, Rogers WA (2009) More than a servant: self-reported willingness of younger and older adults to having a robot perform interactive and critical tasks in the home. In: Hum. factors and ergonomics soc. 53rd annu. meet., 1 October 2009, vol 2, pp 136–140. doi:10.1177/154193120905300206 Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sung J-Y, Grinter RE, Christensen HI (2010) Domestic robot ecology: an initial framework to unpack long-term acceptance of robots at home. Int J Soc Robot 2(4):417–429. doi:10.1007/s12369-010-0065-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Broadbent E, Stafford R, MacDonald BA (2009) Acceptance of healthcare robots for the older population: review and future directions. Int J Soc Robot 1(4):319–330. doi:10.1007/s12369-009-0030-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Forlizzi J, DiSalvo C, Gemperle F (2004) Assistive robotics and an ecology of elders living independently in their homes. Hum-Comput Interact 19:25–59 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Meng Q, Lee MH (2006) Design issues for assistive robotics for the elderly. Adv Eng Inform 20(2):171–186. doi:10.1016/j.aei.2005.10.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Oestreicher L, Severinson Eklundh K (2006) User expectations on human-robot co-operation. In: 15th IEEE int. symposium on robot and hum. interact. commun., 6–8 Sept 2006, pp 91–96. doi:10.1109/roman.2006.314400 Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dautenhahn K, Woods S, Kaouri C, Walters ML, Kheng Lee K, Werry I (2005) What is a robot companion—friend, assistant or butler? In: IEEE/RSJ int. conf. on intell. robots and syst, 2–6 Aug. 2005, pp 1192–1197. doi:10.1109/IROS.2005.1545189 Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lohse M, Hegel F, Wrede B (2008) Domestic applications for social robots - an online survey on the influence of appearance and capabilities. J Phys Agents 2(2):21–32 Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hegel F, Lohse M, Swadzba A, Wachsmuth S, Rohlfing K, Wrede B (2007) Classes of applications for social robots: a user study. In: 16th IEEE int. symposium on robot and hum. interact. commun, 26–29 2007, pp 938–943. doi:10.1109/ROMAN.2007.4415218 Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hegel F, Lohse M, Wrede B (2009) Effects of visual appearance on the attribution of applications in social robotics. In: 18th IEEE int. symposium on robot and hum. interact. commun., 27 September–2 October, pp 64–71. doi:10.1109/ROMAN.2009.5326340 Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Khan Z (1998) Attitudes towards intelligent service robots (TRITA-NA-P9821, IPLab-154). Royal Institute of Technology. ftp://ftp.nada.kth.se/IPLab/TechReports/IPLab-154.pdf. Accessed 15 November 2012
  30. 30.
    Sung J-Y, Christensen HI, Grinter RE (2009) Sketching the future: assessing user needs for domestic robots. In: 18th IEEE int. symposium on robot and hum. interact. commun., 27 Sept.–2 Oct. 2009, pp 153–158. doi:10.1109/roman.2009.5326289 Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Broadbent E, Tamagawa R, Patience A, Knock B, Kerse N, Day K, MacDonald BA (2011) Attitudes towards health-care robots in a retirement village. Australas J Ageing. doi:10.1111/j.1741-6612.2011.00551.x Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bugmann G, Copleston S (2011) What can a personal robot do for you? In: GroßR, Alboul L, Melhuish C, Witkowski M, Prescott TJ, Penders J (eds) Towards autonomous robotic systems. Lecture notes in computer science, vol 6856. Springer, Berlin, pp 360–371. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-23232-9_32 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mast M, Burmester M, Kruger K, Fatikow S, Arbeiter G, Graf B, Kronreif G, Pigini L, Facal D, Qiu R (2012) User-centered design of a dynamic-autonomy remote interaction concept for manipulation-capable robots to assist elderly people in the home. J Hum-Robot Interact 1(1):96–118. doi:10.5898/JHRI.1.1.Mast CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Davis FD (1989) Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Q 13(3):319–340 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Flick U (2009) An introduction to qualitative research, 4th edn. SAGE, Los Angeles Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Czaja SJ, Charness N, Fisk AD, Hertzog C, Nair SN, Rogers WA, Sharit J (2006) Factors predicting the use of technology: findings from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Psychol Aging 21(2):333–352. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.21.2.333 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics (2010) Older Americans 2010: key indicators of well-being. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Fisk AD, Rogers WA, Charness N, Czaja SJ, Sharit J (2009) Designing for older adults: principles and creative human factors approaches, 2nd edn. CRC Press, Boca Raton CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Cakmak M, Takayama L (2013) Towards a comprehensive chore list for domestic robots. In: 8th ACM/IEEE int. conf. on hum.-robot interact, Tokyo, Japan, March 2013, pp 93–94. doi:10.1109/HRI.2013.6483517 Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Beer JM, Smarr C-A, Chen TL, Prakash A, Mitzner TL, Kemp CC, Rogers WA (2012) The domesticated robot: design guidelines for assisting older adults to age in place. In: 7th ACM/IEEE int. conf. on hum.-robot interact, Boston, MA, March 2012, pp 335–342 Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Woods S, Walters ML, Koay KL, Dautenhahn K (2006) Methodological issues in HRI: a comparison of live and video-based methods in robot to human approach direction trials. In: 15th IEEE int. symposium on robot and hum. interact. commun, Hatfield, UK, 6–8 September 2006, pp 51–58 Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Smarr C-A, Prakash A, Beer JM, Mitzner TL, Kemp CC Rogers WA (2012) Older adults’ preferences for and acceptance of robot assistance for everyday living tasks. In: Hum. factors and ergonomics soc. 56th annu. meet., Boston, MA, pp 153–157 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cory-Ann Smarr
    • 1
  • Tracy L. Mitzner
    • 1
  • Jenay M. Beer
    • 1
  • Akanksha Prakash
    • 1
  • Tiffany L. Chen
    • 2
  • Charles C. Kemp
    • 2
  • Wendy A. Rogers
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations