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Do Robot Pets Decrease Agitation in Dementia Patients?

An Ethnographic Approach

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 12483)

Abstract

Companion robots, and especially robotic pets, have been argued to have the potential for improving the well-being of elderly people with dementia. Previous research has mainly focused on short-term studies, conducted with relatively expensive robot platforms. With cheaper options on the market, residential homes in Sweden have started to use low-cost off-the-shelf platforms, such as the Joy for All cats and dogs, which have not been the subject of much previous research. We therefore conducted two ethnographic long-term studies of real-world use of the Joy for All robot cat and dog at a care home facility. The care staff report positive outcomes regarding reminiscence and improved well-being, with decreased agitation and increased communication. Furthermore, the robots are perceived to provide companionship and to give patients the feeling of being able to take care of someone. Based on the insights gained in this real-world study of the use of robotic pets in elderly care, we identify a number of research questions and methodological issues for future research.

Keywords

  • Robot pets
  • Companion robots
  • Elderly people
  • Dementia
  • Human-robot interaction

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Fig. 1.

Notes

  1. 1.

    The robot seal Paro is an exception that has been evaluated in long-term studies [24, 25].

  2. 2.

    www.bpsd.se.

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Correspondence to Sofia Thunberg .

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Thunberg, S., Rönnqvist, L., Ziemke, T. (2020). Do Robot Pets Decrease Agitation in Dementia Patients?. In: , et al. Social Robotics. ICSR 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12483. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62056-1_51

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62056-1_51

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