Robotland Bookstore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Acceptance of Healthcare Robots

The rapidly ageing population is placing increasing strain on healthcare services. Robots have been proposed as a way to assist people to stay healthy and safe in their own homes. I en recent published article in the Int. Journal of Social Robot researchers at the University of Aukland, NZ, who have reviewed the literature about human responses to healthcare robots and summarises the variables that have been found to influence responses, propose that despite the need for such assistive devices and the success of some healthcare robots, other robots have had a poor response.

They come to the conclusion that it may be possible to increase acceptance of healthcare robots by properly assessing the needs of the human user and then matching the robot’s role, appearance and behaviour to these needs. Because robots have limitations in their abilities, another way to increase acceptance may be to modify the expectations of users to better match robots’ abilities. They ask for more research in potential users’ needs and expectations in specific situations and whether interventions to increase the match between robot and human can increase acceptance.

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