Embodied Virtual Agents as a Means to Foster E-Inclusion of Older People

Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


How can Embodied Virtual Agents (EVAs, often misleadingly called “avatars”) facilitate access to modern information and communication technologies for older people? Several studies and theoretical considerations point out their strong potential benefits, as well as their pitfalls and limitations. This chapter provides a survey of current studies, technologies, and applications, and shall provide guidance as to when and how to employ an EVA for the benefit of older adults. The reviewed studies encompass robotics, EVAs, and specific questions regarding the e-inclusion of the target user group.


Interaction Partner Sign Language Technical System Social Presence Virtual Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially funded by the GUIDE Project of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement 24889.


  1. 1.
    Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 2, 267–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Argyle, M., Trower, P., & Kristal, L. (1979). Person to person: Ways of communicating. London: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bailenson, J. N., & Blascovich, J. (2004). Avatars. In Encyclopedia of human-computer interaction. Great Barrington: Berkshire Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barberis, D., Garazzino, N., Prinetto, P., & Tiotto, G. (2011). Improving accessibility for deaf people: An editor for computer assisted translation through virtual avatars. In K. F. McCoy & Y. Yesilada (Eds.), ASSETS (pp. 253–254). ACM.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barefoot, J. C., Maynard, K. E., Beckham, J. C., Brummett, B. H., Hooker, K., & Siegler, I. C. (1998). Trust, health, and longevity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(6), 517–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bartneck, C. (2003). Interacting with an embodied emotional character. In Proceedings of the 2003 international conference on designing pleasurable products and interfaces (pp. 55–60). New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bates, J. (1994). The role of emotion in believable agents. Communications of the ACM, 37(7), 122–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Baylor, A. L., & Ryu, J. (2003). The effects of image and animation in enhancing pedagogical agent persona. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 28(4), 373–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Beale, R., & Creed, C. (2009). Affective interaction: How emotional agents affect users. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 67(9), 755–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Beck, A. M., & Meyers, N. M. (1996). Health enhancement and companion animal ownership. Annual Review of Public Health, 17(1), 247–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Beck, A. M., Edwards, N., Friedman, B., & Khan, P. (2003). Robotic pets and the elderly. Project overview:
  13. 13.
    Benoît, C. (1996). On the production and the perception of audio-visual speech by man and machine. In Multimedia & video coding. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bente, G., Rüggenberg, S., Krämer, N. C., & Eschenburg, F. (2008). Avatar-mediated networking: Increasing social presence and interpersonal trust in net-based collaborations. Human Communication Research, 34(2), 287–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Berkman, L. F., & Syme, S. L. (1979). Social networks, host resistance, and mortality: A nine-year follow-up study of Alameda County residents. American Journal of Epidemiology, 109(2), 186–204.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beun, R. J., De Vos, E., & Witteman, C. L. M. (2003). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2792, 315–319.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bickmore, T. W. (2003). Relational agents: Effecting change through human-computer relationships. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bickmore, T., & Cassell, J. (2001). Relational agents: A model and implementation of building user trust. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 396–403.
  19. 19.
    Bickmore, T., & Cassell, J. (2005). Social dialogue with embodied conversational agents. In Advances in natural multimodal dialogue systems (pp. 23–54). Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bickmore, T., & Gruber, A. (2010). Relational agents in clinical psychiatry. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 18(2), 119–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bickmore, T. W., Puskar, K., Schlenk, K. A., Pfeifer, L. M., & Sereika, S. M. (2010). Maintaining reality: Relational agents for antipsychotic medication adherence. Interacting with Computers, 22(4), 276–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bickmore, T. W., & Picard, R. W. (2004). Towards caring machines. CHI’04 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, 1489–1492.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bickmore, T. W., & Picard, R. W. (2005). Establishing and maintaining long-term human-computer relationships. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 12(2), 293–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bickmore, T. W., Caruso, L., & Clough-Gorr, K. (2005). Acceptance and usability of a relational agent interface by urban older adults. In CHI’05 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1212–1215). New York: Elsevier Science Inc.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bickmore, T. W., Mauer, D., & Brown, T. (2009). Context awareness in a handheld exercise agent. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 5(3), 226–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bickmore, T. W., Pfeifer, L. M., & Jack, B. W. (2009a). Taking the time to care: Empowering low health literacy hospital patients with virtual nurse agents. In Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1265–1274). New York: ACM.
  27. 27.
    Blascovich, J., Loomis, J., Beall, A. C., Swinth, K. R., Hoyt, C. L., & Bailenson, J. N. (2002). Immersive virtual environment technology as a methodological tool for social psychology. Psychological Inquiry, 13(2), 103–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Booth, M. L., Owen, N., Bauman, A., Clavisi, O., & Leslie, E. (2000). Social-cognitive and perceived environment influences associated with physical activity in older Australians. Preventive Medicine, 31(1), 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bosse, T., Siddiqui, G., & Treur, J. (2010). An intelligent virtual agent to increase involvement in financial services. In Intelligent virtual agents (Lecture notes in computer science, Vol. 6356, pp. 378–384). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Brewer, M. B., & Hewstone, M. (2004). Emotion and motivation. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Buisine, S., & Martin, J. C. (2007). The effects of speech-gesture cooperation in animated agents’ behavior in multimedia presentations. Interacting with Computers, 19, 484–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Buisine, S., & Martin, J. C. (2010). The influence of user’s personality and gender on the processing of virtual agents’ multimodal behavior. Advances in Psychology Research, 65, 1–14.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Burgoon, J. K. (1994). Nonverbal signals. In M. L. Knapp & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (2nd ed., pp. 229–285). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2009). Action, affect, and two-mode models of functioning. In Oxford handbook of human action (pp. 298–327). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Cassell, J. (2000). Nudge nudge wink wink: Elements of face-to-face conversation for embodied conversational agents. In Embodied conversational agents (pp. 1–27). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Cassell, J., & Thorisson, K. R. (1999). The power of a nod and a glance: Envelope vs. emotional feedback in animated conversational agents. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 13(4-5), 519–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Charles, S. T., & Carstensen, L. L. (2010). Social and emotional aging. Annual Review of Psychology, 61, 383–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cortellessa, G., Scopelliti, M., Tiberio, L., Koch Svedberg, G., Loutfi, A., & Pecora, F. A. (2008). Cross-cultural evaluation of domestic assistive robots. In Proceedings of AAAI fall symposium on AI in eldercare: New solutions to old problems, November 7–9, Arlington, VA, USA.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Crombie, I. K., Irvine, L., Williams, B., McGinnis, A. R., Slane, P. W., Alder, E. M., & McMurdo, M. E. T. (2004). Why older people do not participate in leisure time physical activity: A survey of activity levels, beliefs and deterrents. Age and Ageing, 33(3), 287–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Dautenhahn, K. (2004). Robots we like to live with?! – A developmental perspective on a personalized, life-long robot companion. Robot and human interactive communication, 2004. ROMAN 2004. 13th IEEE International Workshop on, 17–22.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    de Melo, C., Carnevale, P., & Gratch, J. (2010). The influence of emotions in embodied agents on human decision-making. In Proceedings of Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA’10) (pp. 357–370).Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    DiSalvo, C., Gemperle, F., Forlizzi, J., & Montgomery, E. (2003). The hug: An exploration of robotic form for intimate communication. Robot and human interactive communication, 2003. Proceedings. ROMAN 2003. The 12th IEEE international workshop on, 403–408.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    European Union. (n.a.). E-Inclusion … what next? Embracing the future of social innovation 2010–2015. Accessed 30 May 2012.
  44. 44.
    Eizmendi, G., & Craddock, G. M. (2007). Challenges for assistive technology: AAATE 07 (20th ed.). Amsterdam: IOS Press Inc.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Emiliani, P. L., Stephanidis, C., & Vanderheiden, G. (2011). Technology and inclusion–past, present and foreseeable future. Technology and Disability, 23(3), 101–114.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Fagel, S. (2006). Emotional mcgurk effect. Proceedings of the international conference on speech prosody (Ed. 1).Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Fagel, S., & Madany, K. (2008). Computeranimierte Sprechbewegungen in realen Anwendungen. Berlin: Univ.-Verl. der TU, Univ.-Bibliothek.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Feil-Seifer, D., & Mataric, M. J. (2005). Defining socially assistive robotics. 9th international conference on rehabilitation robotics, ICORR 2005, Berlin, 465–468.
  49. 49.
    Fong, T., Nourbakhsh, I., & Dautenhahn, K. (2003). A survey of socially interactive robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42(3), 143–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Garau, M., Slater, M., Vinayagamoorthy, V., Brogni, A., Steed, A., & Sasse, M. A. (2003). The impact of avatar realism and eye gaze control on perceived quality of communication in a shared immersive virtual environment. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 529–536.
  51. 51.
    Gockley, R., & Mataric, M. J. (2006). Encouraging physical therapy compliance with a hands-off mobile robot. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGCHI/SIGART conference on human-robot interaction, Salt Lake City, March 2–3 (pp. 150–155).Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Gockley, R., Bruce, A., Forlizzi, J., Michalowski, M., Mundell, A., Rosenthal, S., Sellner, B., et al. (2005). Designing robots for long-term social interaction. 2005 IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems, 2005 (IROS 2005), 1338–1343.
  53. 53.
    Gong, L. (2007). Is happy better than sad even if they are both non-adaptive? Effects of emotional expressions of talking-head interface agents. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 65(3), 183–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Gratch, J., Okhmatovskaia, A., Lamothe, F., Marsella, S., Morales, M., van der Werf, R., & Morency, L. P. (2006). Virtual rapport. In Intelligent virtual agents (pp. 14–27).Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Guide. (2007). GUIDE project webpage. Accessed 3 Jan 2013.
  56. 56.
    Gump, B. B., & Kulik, J. A. (1997). Stress, affiliation, and emotional contagion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(2), 305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Hans, M., Graf, B., & Schraft, R. D. (2002). Robotic home assistant care-o-bot: Past-present-future. In Proceedings of 11th IEEE international workshop on robot and human interactive communication, 2002 (pp. 380–385). Berlin: IEEE.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Heerink, M., Kröse, B., Wielinga, B., & Evers, V. (2006). Studying the acceptance of a robotic agent by elderly users. International Journal of Assistive Robotics and Mechatronics, 7(3), 33–43.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Heerink, M., Kröse, B., Evers, V., & Wielinga, B. (2008a). The influence of social presence on enjoyment and intention to use of a robot and screen agent by elderly users. In Proceedings of the 17th IEEE international symposium on robot and human interactive communication, 2008 (RO-MAN 2008) (pp. 695–700). Munich: IEEE.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Heerink, M., Kröse, B., Wielinga, B., & Evers, V. (2008b). Enjoyment, intention to use and actual use of a conversational robot by elderly people. 3rd ACM/IEEE international conference on human-robot interaction (HRI) (pp. 113–119). Munich: IEEE.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Heerink, M., Kröse, B., Evers, V., & Wielinga, B. (2010). Assessing acceptance of assistive social agent technology by older adults: The almere model. International Journal of Social Robotics, 2(4), 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Holden, M. K., & Dyar, T. (2002). Virtual environment training: A new tool for neurorehabilitation. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 26(2), 62.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Hone, K. (2006). Empathic agents to reduce user frustration: The effects of varying agent characteristics. Interacting with Computers, 18(2), 227–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Hongpaisanwiwat, C., & Lewis, M. (2003). Attentional effect of animated character. Proceedings of the human-computer interaction, 423–430.
  65. 65.
    Hudlicka, E., Becker-Asano, C., Payr, S., Fischer, K., Ventura, R., Leite, I., & von Scheve, C. (2009). Social interaction with robots and agents: Where do we stand, Where do we go? In 3rd international conference on affective computing and intelligent interaction and workshops, 2009 (ACII 2009) (pp. 1–6). Amsterdam: IEEE.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Inter Ikea Systems B. V. (1999–2012). Ikea, Welcome. Accessed 12 Dec 2012.
  67. 67.
    Ijsselsteijn, W. A., Kort, Y. A. W., Westerink, J., Jager, M., & Bonants, R. (2006). Virtual fitness: Stimulating exercise behavior through media technology. Presence Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 15(6), 688–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Jensen, A., Wilson, D.-M., Jordine, K., & Sakpal, R. (2012). Using embodied pedagogical agents and direct instruction to improve learning outcomes for young children with learning disabilities. Global TIME 2012, 2012(1), 235–239.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Johnson, W. L., Rickel, J. W., & Lester, J. C. (2000). Animated pedagogical agents: Face-to-face interaction in interactive learning environments. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 11(1), 47–78.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Kamarck, T. W., Manuck, S. B., & Jennings, J. R. (1990). Social support reduces cardiovascular reactivity to psychological challenge: A laboratory model. Psychosomatic Medicine, 52(1), 42–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Kaminsky, T. A., Dudgeon, B. J., Billingsley, F. F., Mitchell, P. H., Weghorst, S. J., et al. (2007). Virtual cues and functional mobility of people with Parkinson’s disease: A single-subject pilot study. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 44(3), 437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Kanda, T., Hirano, T., Eaton, D., & Ishiguro, H. (2004). Interactive robots as social partners and peer tutors for children: A field trial. Human Computer Interaction, 19(1), 61–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Kidd, C. D. (2007). Engagement in long-term human-robot interaction. PhD thesis in Media Arts & Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Klein, J., Moon, Y., & Picard, R. W. (2002). This computer responds to user frustration: Theory, design, and results. Interacting with computers, 14(2), 119–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Koda, T., & Maes, P. (1996). Agents with faces: The effect of personification. 5th IEEE international workshop on robot and human communication, 1996 (pp. 189–194). Tsukuba: IEEE.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Krahmer, E. J., & Swerts, M. (2006). Hearing and seeing beats: The influence of visual beats on the production and perception of prominence. Proceedings of speech prosody 2006.
  77. 77.
    Krämer, N. C., & Bente, G. (2010). Personalizing e-learning. The social effects of pedagogical agents. Educational Psychology Review, 22(1), 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Krämer, N., Hoffmann, L., & Kopp, S. (2010). Know your users! Empirical results for tailoring an agent’s nonverbal behavior to different user groups. Intelligent virtual agents (pp. 468–474). Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Krämer, N. C., Eimler, S., von der Pütten, A., & Payr, S. (2011). Theory of companions: What can theoretical models contribute to applications and understanding of human-robot interaction? Applied Artificial Intelligence, 25(6), 474–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Kriglstein, S., & Wallner, G. (2005). HOMIE: An artificial companion for elderly people. CHI (Bd. 5, S. 02–07).Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Kryla-Lighthall, N., & Mather, M. (2009). The role of cognitive control in older adults’ emotional well-being. In V. Berngtson, D. Gans, N. Putney, & M. Silverstein (Eds.), Handbook of theories of aging (2nd ed., pp. 323–344). Springer.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Lawson, S. W., & Chesney, T. (2007). The impact of owner age on companionship with virtual pets. In Eighth international conference on Information Visualisation (IV’04) (Vol. 4, pp. 1922–1928).Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Lee, M. L., & Dey, A. K. (2008). Lifelogging memory appliance for people with episodic memory impairment. Proceedings of the 10th international conference on Ubiquitous computing, 44–53.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Lester, J. C., Converse, S. A., Kahler, S. E., Barlow, S. T., Stone, B. A., & Bhogal, R. S. (1997). The persona effect: Affective impact of animated pedagogical agents. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 359–366). New York: ACM.
  85. 85.
    Looije, R., Cnossen, F., & Neerinex, M. (2006). Incorporating guidelines for health assistance into a socially intelligent robot. The 15th IEEE international symposium on robot and human interactive communication, 2006, ROMAN 2006 (pp. 515–520). Hatfield: IEEE.Google Scholar
  86. 86.
    Mark, G. (1999). Designing believable interaction by applying social conventions. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 13(3), 297–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    McCalley, T., & Mertens, A. (2007). The pet plant: Developing an inanimate emotionally interactive tool for the elderly. Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on persuasive technology (pp. 68–79). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Mohseni, M., & Lindstrom, M. (2007). Social capital, trust in the health-care system and self-rated health: The role of access to health care in a population-based study. Social Science & Medicine, 64(7), 1373–1383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Morandell, M., Fugger, E., & Prazak, B. (2007). The Alzheimer Avatar-Caregivers’ faces used as GUI component. In Challenges for assistive technology AAATE (pp. 180–184). IOS Press: Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Morandell, M., Hochgatterer, A., Fagel, S., & Wassertheurer, S. (2008). Avatars in assistive homes for the elderly. In HCI and usability for education and work (pp. 391–402). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.
  91. 91.
    Moreno, R., Mayer, R. E., Spires, H. A., & Lester, J. C. (2001). The case for social agency in computer-based teaching: Do students learn more deeply when they interact with animated pedagogical agents? Cognition and Instruction, 19(2), 177–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Nass, C., Isbister, K., & Lee, E. J. (2000). Truth is beauty: Researching embodied conversational agents. In J. Cassell, J. Sullivan, S. Prevost, & E. L. Churchill (Eds.), Embodied conversational agents (pp. 374–402). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  93. 93.
    Nijholt, A. (2002). Embodied agents: A new impetus to humor research. In The April Fools’ Day workshop on computational humour (pp. 101–111), Trento, Italy, 15–16 April.Google Scholar
  94. 94.
    Nowak, K. L., & Biocca, F. (2003). The effect of the agency and anthropomorphism on users’ sense of telepresence, copresence, and social presence in virtual environments. Presence Teleoperators & Virtual Environments, 12(5), 481–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. 95.
    Okonkwo, C., & Vassileva, J. (2001). Affective pedagogical agents and user persuasion. In Universal access in human-computer interaction. New Orleans, USA.Google Scholar
  96. 96.
    Ortiz, A., del Puy Carretero, M., Oyarzun, D., Yanguas, J., Buiza, C., Gonzalez, M., & Etxeberria, I. (2007). Elderly users in ambient intelligence: Does an avatar improve the interaction? Universal Access in Ambient Intelligence Environments, 4397, 99–114.
  97. 97.
    Pandzic, I. S., Ostermann, J., & Millen, D. (1999). User evaluation: Synthetic talking faces for interactive services. The Visual Computer, 15(7), 330–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. 98.
    Papalia, D. E., Camp, C. J., & Feldman, R. D. (1996). Adult development and aging. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  99. 99.
    Parise, S., Kiesler, S., Sproull, L., & Waters, K. (1999). Cooperating with life-like interface agents. Computers in Human Behavior, 15(2), 123–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. 100.
    Picard, R. W., & Klein, J. (2002). Computers that recognise and respond to user emotion: Theoretical and practical implications. Interacting with Computers, 14(2), 141–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. 101.
    Pollack, M. E., Brown, L., Colbry, D., McCarthy, C. E., Orosz, C., Peintner, B., Ramakrishnan, S., & Tsamardinos, I. (2003). Autominder: An intelligent cognitive orthotic system for people with memory impairment. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 44((3), 273–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. 102.
    Prendinger, H., Mori, J., & Ishizuka, M. (2005). Using human physiology to evaluate subtle expressivity of a virtual quizmaster in a mathematical game. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 62(2), 231–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. 103.
    Qiu, L., & Benbasat, I. (2005). Online consumer trust and live help interfaces: The effects of text-to-speech voice and three-dimensional avatars. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 19(1), 75–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. 104.
    Raina, P., Waltner-Toews, D., Bonnett, B., Woodward, C., & Abernathy, T. (1999). Influence of companion animals on the physical and psychological health of older people: An analysis of a one-year longitudinal study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47(3), 323–329.
  105. 105.
    Reeves, B., & Nass, C. (1996). How people treat computers, television, and new media like real people and places. Stanford: CSLI Publications/Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  106. 106.
    Rickenberg, R., & Reeves, B. (2000). The effects of animated characters on anxiety, task performance, and evaluations of user interfaces. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 49–56). New York: ACM.
  107. 107.
    Riedl, R., Mohr, P., Kenning, P., Davis, F., & Heekeren, H. (2011). Trusting humans and avatars: Behavioral and neural evidence. ICIS 2011 Proceedings (Paper 7).Google Scholar
  108. 108.
    Ruttkay, Z., Zwiers, J., van Welbergen, H., & Reidsma, D. (2006). Towards a reactive virtual trainer. In Intelligent virtual agents (pp. 292–303). Berlin/New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  109. 109.
    Salzman, B. (2010). Gait and balance disorders in older adults. American Family Physician, 82(1), 61–68.Google Scholar
  110. 110.
    San-Segundo, R., López, V., Martín, R., Lufti, S., Ferreiros, J., Córdoba, R., & Pardo, J. M. (2010). Advanced speech communication system for deaf people. In Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2010, 11th annual conference of the international Speech Communication Association. Google Scholar
  111. 111.
    Scassellati, B. (2007). How social robots will help us to diagnose, treat, and understand autism. Robotics Research, 28, 552–563.Google Scholar
  112. 112.
    Schroeder, R. (2002). The social life of avatars: Presence and interaction in shared virtual environments. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. 113.
    Shibata, T., Wada, K., & Tanie, K. (2003). Statistical analysis and comparison of questionnaire results of subjective evaluations of seal robot in Japan and UK. Robotics and Automation, 2003. Proceedings. ICRA’03. IEEE international conference on (Vol. 3, pp. 3152–3157). Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  114. 114.
    Stichting, S. (2007)., zo werkt het. Accessed 3 Jan 2013.
  115. 115.
    Stiehl, W. D., Breazeal, C., Han, K. H., Lieberman, J., Lalla, L., Maymin, A., Salinas, J., et al. (2006). The huggable: A therapeutic robotic companion for relational, affective touch. ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Emerging technologies, 15. In Proceedings of AAAI fall symposium on caring machines: AI in Eldercare, 2006, Washington.Google Scholar
  116. 116.
    UbiComp. (2014). Proceedings of the 2014 ACM international joint conference on pervasive and ubiquitous computing (pp. 62–74).Google Scholar
  117. 117.
    Takeuchi, A., & Naito, T. (1995). Situated facial displays: Towards social interaction. In I. Katz, R. Mack, L. Marks, M. B. Rosson, & J. Nielsen (Eds.), Human factors in computing systems: CHI + 95 conference proceedings (pp. 450–455). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  118. 118.
    Teigen, K. H. (1994). Yerkes-Dodson: A law for all seasons. Theory & Psychology, 4(4), 525–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. 119.
    Tognazzini, B. (1992). TOG on interface. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  120. 120.
    Vinayagamoorthy, V., Gillies, M., Steed, A., Tanguy, E., Pan, X., Loscos, C., Slater, M., et al. (2006). Building expression into virtual characters. In Eurographics conference state of the art reports, Vienna, Austria, 4–8 September 2006 [Conference or Workshop Item]Google Scholar
  121. 121.
    Voerman, J. L., & FitzGerald, P. J. (2000). Deictic and emotive communication in animated pedagogical agents. In J. Cassell, J. Sullivan, S. Prevost, & E. L. Churchill (Eds.), Embodied conversational agents (p. 123). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  122. 122.
    von der Pütten, A., Krämer, N., & Gratch, J. (2010). How our personality shapes our interactions with virtual characters – Implications for research and development. In 10th International conference on intelligent virtual agents (pp. 208–221). Berlin/New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  123. 123.
    Vormbrock, J. K., & Grossberg, J. M. (1988). Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 11(5), 509–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  124. 124.
    Wada, K., & Shibata, T. (2007). Living with seal robots—Its sociopsychological and physiological influences on the elderly at a care house. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 23(5), 972–980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  125. 125.
    Walker, J. H., Sproull, L., & Subramani, R. (1994). Using a human face in an interface. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: Celebrating interdependence (pp. 85–91). New York: ACM.
  126. 126.
    Werry, I., & Dautenhahn, K. (1999). Applying mobile robot technology to the rehabilitation of autistic children. In Proceedings of SIRS99, 7th symposium on intelligent robotic systems, p. 265.Google Scholar
  127. 127.
    Wethington, E., & Kessler, R. C. (1986). Perceived support, received support, and adjustment to stressful life events. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 27(1), 78–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  128. 128.
    Edney, A. T. (1995). Companion animals and human health: An overview. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 88(12), 704p–708p.Google Scholar
  129. 129.
    Wu, P., & Miller, C. (2005). Results from a field study: The need for an emotional relationship between the elderly and their assistive technologies. In 1st international conference on augmented cognition, Las Vegas.Google Scholar
  130. 130.
    Yee, N., Bailenson, J. N., & Rickertsen, K. (2007). A meta-analysis of the impact of the inclusion and realism of human-like faces on user experiences in interfaces. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1–10). New York: ACM.
  131. 131.
    Zajonc, R. B. (1965). Social facilitation. Science, 149(3681), 269–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  132. 132.
    Zunzunegui, M. V., Alvarado, B. E., Del Ser, T., & Otero, A. (2003). Social networks, social integration, and social engagement determine cognitive decline in community-dwelling Spanish older adults. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(2), 93–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Graphics Center (CCG)University of Minho – Campus de AzurémGuimarãesPortugal
  2. 2.EngageLab, Centro AlgoritmiUniversity of MinhoGuimarãesPortugal

Personalised recommendations