ROBIN, a Telepresence Robot to Support Older Users Monitoring and Social Inclusion: Development and Evaluation

Introduction: This article describes an enhanced telepresence robot named ROBIN, part of a telecare system derived from the GIRAFFPLUS project for supporting and monitoring older adults at home. ROBIN is integrated in a sensor-rich environment that aims to continuously monitor physical and psychological wellbeing of older persons living alone. The caregivers (formal/informal) can communicate through it with their assisted persons. Long-term trials in real houses highlighted several user requirements that inspired improvements on the robotic platform. The enhanced telepresence robot was assessed by users to test its suitability to support social interaction and provide motivational feedback on health-related aspects. Methods: Twenty-five users (n = 25) assessed the new multimodal interaction capabilities and new communication services. A psychophysiological approach was adopted to investigate aspects like engagement, usability, and affective impact, as well as the possible role of individual differences on the quality of human-robot interaction. Results: ROBIN was overall judged usable, the interaction with/through it resulted pleasant and the required workload was limited, thus supporting the idea of using it as a central component for remote assistance and social participation. Open-minded users tended to have a more positive interaction with it. Conclusions: This work describes an enabling technology for remote assistance and social communication. It highlights the importance of being compliant with users' needs to develop solutions easy to use and able to foster their social connections. The role of personality appeared to be relevant for the interaction, underscoring a clear role of the service personalization.

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Cortellessa, Gabriella
Fracasso, Francesca
Sorrentino, Alessandra
Orlandini, Andrea
Bernardi, Giulio
Coraci, Luca
De Benedictis, Riccardo
Cesta, Amedeo
Mary Ann Liebert,, Larchmont, NY , Stati Uniti d'America
Telemedicine journal and e-health 24 (2018): 145–154. doi:10.1089/tmj.2016.0258
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Cortellessa, Gabriella; Fracasso, Francesca; Sorrentino, Alessandra; Orlandini, Andrea; Bernardi, Giulio; Coraci, Luca; De Benedictis, Riccardo; Cesta, Amedeo/titolo:ROBIN, a Telepresence Robot to Support Older Users Monitoring
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