International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 145–156 | Cite as

What Effect Does an Animal Robot Called CuDDler Have on the Engagement and Emotional Response of Older People with Dementia? A Pilot Feasibility Study

  • Wendy Moyle
  • Cindy Jones
  • Billy Sung
  • Marguerite Bramble
  • Siobhan O’Dwyer
  • Michael Blumenstein
  • Vladimir Estivill-Castro
Article

Abstract

The development of companion animal robots is of growing interest. These robots have recently been marketed to older adults with dementia as a means of encouraging social engagement and reducing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. This paper outlines the results of a pilot study that sought to assess the feasibility and effect of using a robotic companion animal called CuDDler on engagement and emotional states of five older adults with dementia living in nursing home care. CuDDler is a prototype robot developed in Singapore. Despite their cognitive decline, the study participants raised a number of concerns regarding the feasibility and tolerability of CuDDler. The effectiveness of CuDDler was also limited in these participants, although one participant with visual agnosia benefited greatly from the one-on-one experience. The findings demonstrate the importance of companion robots being developed that are of an appropriate size, weight and shape for older people, including those with dementia, and a realistic animal shape that does not encourage thoughts of it being a toy. Our conclusions indicate the need for further studies on the development and use of companion robots, and investigation of the comparative benefits of social robots both compared to and in association with human interactions.

Keywords

Social robots Dementia Older people Long-term care Companion animal 

References

  1. 1.
    World Health Organisation (WHO), Alzheimer’s Disease International (2012) Dementia. A public health priority. World Health Organisation, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) Dementia in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Draper B (2011) Understanding Alzheimer’s & other dementias. Longueville Books, WoollahraGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brodaty H, Draper BM, Low LF (2003) Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia: a seven-tiered model of service delivery. Med J Aust 178:231–234Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Moyle W, Venturato L, Griffiths S, Grimbeek P, McAllister M, Oxlade D, Murfield J (2011) Factors influencing quality of life for people with dementia: a qualitative perspective. Aging Ment Health 15:970–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hwang SS, Kim Y, da Yun Y, Kim YS, Jung HYJ (2012) Exploration of the associations between neurocognitive function and neuroleptics side effects. Psychiatr Res 46:913–919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vickland V, Werner J, Morris T, McDonnell D, Draper B, Low LF, Brodaty H (2011) Who pays and who benefits. How different models of shared responsibilities between formal and informal carers influence projections of costs of dementia management. BMC Pub Health 11:793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vernooiji-Dassen M, Vasse E, Zuidema S, Cohen-Mansfield J, Moyle W (2010) Psychosocial interventions for dementia patients in long-term care. Int Psychogeriatr 22(7):1121–1128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Harmer BJ, Orrell M (2008) What is meaningful activity for people with dementia living in care homes? A comparison of the views of older people with dementia, staff and family carers. Aging Ment Health 12:548–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brooker D (2008) What makes a life worth living? Aging Ment Hlth 12:525–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Libin A, Cohen-Mansfield J (2004) Therapeutic robocat for nursing home residents with dementia: preliminary inquiry. Am J Alzheimer’s Dis Other Demen 19:111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moyle W, Cooke M, Beattie E, Jones C, Klein B, Cook G, Gray C (2013) Exploring the effect of companion robots on emotional expression in older people with dementia: a pilot RCT. J Gerontol Nurs 39:46–53. doi:10.3928/00989134-20130313-03 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wada K, Shibata T (2007) Living with seal robots: its sociopsychological and physiological influences on the elderly at a care house. IEEE Trans Robot 23:972–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fluffy baby robot helps keep you company. http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/12/baby-robot.html. Accessed 11 April 2015
  15. 15.
    Frennert S, Ostlund B (2014) Review: seven matters of concern of social robots and older people. Int J Soc Robot 6:299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sellers DM (2006) The evaluation of an animal-assisted therapy intervention for elders with dementia in long-term care. Act Adapt Aging 30:61–77Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kanamori M, Suzuki M, Tanaka M (2002) Maintenance and improvement of quality of life among elderly patients using a pet-type robot. Nippon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi 39:214–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Limbu DK, Anthony WCY, Adrian THJ, Tran AD, Kee CT, Tran HD, Alvin WHY, Terence NWZ, Jiang R, Li J (2013) Affective social interaction with CuDDler robot. In: 6th IEEE conference on robotics, automation and mechatronics (RAM), pp 179–184Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yin RK (2008) Case study research. Design and methods, 4th edn. Sage Publications, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    de Jonghe SE, Korevaar AJC, Van Munster BC, de Rooij SE (2010) Effectiveness of melatonin treatment on circadian rhythm disturbances in dementia. Are there implications for delirium? A systematic review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 25:1201–1208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR (1975) Mini-mental state: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 12:189–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    O’Bryant SE, Humphreys JD, Smith GE, Lynik RJ, Graff-Radford NR, Petersen RC, Lucas JA (2008) Detecting dementia with the mini-mental state examination in highly educated individuals. Arch Neurol 65:963–967Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lawton MP, Van Haitsma K, Klapper J (1996) Observed affect in nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease. J Gerontol Ser B 51B:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cohen-Mansfield J, Dakheel-Ali M, Marx MS (2009) Engagement in persons with dementia: the concept and its measurement. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 17:299–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Clair AA (2002) The effects of music therapy on engagement in family caregiver and care receiver couples with dementia. Am J Alzheimer’s Dis Demen 17:286–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cohen-Mansfield J, Werner P (1998) Predictors of aggressive behaviour: a longitudinal study in senior day-care centres. J Gerontol 53B:300–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    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 2:361–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Salvini P, Laschi C, Dario P (2010) Design for acceptability: improving robots’ coexistence in human society. Int J Soc Robot 2:451–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kanda T, Miyashita T, Osada T, Haikawa Y, Ishiguro H (2008) Analysis of humanoid appearances in human–robot interaction. IEEE Trans Robot 24:725–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Goetz J, Kiesler S, Powers A (2003) Matching robot appearance and behavior to tasks to improve human-robot cooperation. In: Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE international workshop on robot and human interaction communication. Millbrae, CA, pp 55–60Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bartlett B, Estivill-Castro V, Seymon S (2004) Dogs or robots: why do children see them as robotic pets rather than canine machines? In: Proceedings of the fifth conference on Australasian user interface, vol 28. Australian User-Interface Conference AUIC ’04, Dunedin, New Zealand, Australian Computer Society, Inc., pp 7–14Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dunn J, Balfour M, Moyle W, Cooke M, Martin K, Crystal C, Yen A (2013) Playfully engaging people living with dementia: searching for Yum Cha moments. Int J Play 2:174–186. doi:10.1080/21594937.2013.852052 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lin P, Abney K, Bekey GA (2011) Robot ethics: the ethical and social implications of robotics. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sharkey A, Sharkey N (2012) Granny and the robots: ethical issues in robot care for the elderly. Ethics Inf Technol 14:27–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sharkey A, Sharkey N (2011) Children, the elderly, and interactive robots. IEEE Robot Autom Mag 18:32–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Moyle, W, Beattie E, Draper B, Shum D, Thalib L (2014) Effect of an interactive therapeutic robotic animal on engagement, mood states, agitation and antipsychotic drug use. NHMRC Project Grant APP1065320, 2014-2017Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Moyle W, Cooke ML, Beattie E, Shum DHK, O’Dwyer S, Barrett S, Sung B (2014) Foot massage and physiological stress in people with dementia: a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complementary Med 20:305–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menzies Health Institute QLDGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Dementia Collaborative Research Centre - Carers and ConsumersQUTBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Integrated and Intelligent SystemsGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Health Practice InnovationGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations