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Seniors’ Appreciation of Humanoid Robots

Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST,volume 151)

Abstract

This paper is positioned inside a research project investigating elders’ preferences and acceptance toward robots, in order to collect insights for the design and implementation of socially assistive robots. To this aim, short video clips of five manufactured robots (Roomba, Nao, Pepper, Ishiguro, and Erica) were shown to 100 seniors (50 Female) aged 65+ years (average age: 71.34 years, DS: ±5.60). After watching each robot video clip, seniors were administered a short questionnaire assessing their willingness to interact with robots, feelings robots aroused, and duties they would entrust to robots. The questionnaire’s scores were assessed through repeated measures ANOVA in order to ascertain statistically significant differences among seniors’ preferences. A clear uncanny valley effect was identified. The robot Pepper received significantly higher scores than Roomba, Nao, Ishiguro, and Erica on communication skills, ability to remind friendly and pleasant memories, comprehension, and ability to provide emotional support. In addition, Pepper was considered the most suitable, among the five proposed robots, in performing welfare duties for elders, children and disabled, protection and security, and front desk occupations.

Keywords

  • Assistive technologies
  • Uncanny valley effects
  • User’s requirements and expectations
  • User’s acceptance
  • Senior’s preferences

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Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 769872 (EMPATHIC) and N. 823907 (MENHIR) and from the project SIROBOTICS that received funding from Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università, e della Ricerca (MIUR), PNR 2015-2020, Decreto Direttoriale 1735 del 13 luglio 2017.

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Correspondence to Anna Esposito .

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Esposito, A. et al. (2020). Seniors’ Appreciation of Humanoid Robots. In: Esposito, A., Faundez-Zanuy, M., Morabito, F., Pasero, E. (eds) Neural Approaches to Dynamics of Signal Exchanges. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 151. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8950-4_30

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