A Case Study on the Application of an Embodied Communication Medium to Home Care
We explore the potential of teleoperated androids, which are embodied telecommunication media with humanlike appearances. By conducting a pilot study, we investigated how Telenoid, a teleoperated android designed as a minimalistic human, affects people in the real world when it is employed to express telepresence and a sense of ‘being there’. Our exploratory study focused on the social aspects of the android robot, which might facilitate communication between the elderly and Telenoid’s operator. This new way of creating social relationships can be used to solve a problem in society, the social isolation of senior citizens. It has become a major issue even in Denmark that is known as one of countries with advanced welfare systems. In this pilot study at Danish homes, we found that the elderly with or without dementia showed positive attitudes toward Telenoid and developed various dialogue strategies. Contrary to the issue of revulsion that can be caused by humanlike robots and the negative reactions by non-users in media reports, we discuss potentials and challenges of the android’s embodiment for social inclusion of senior citizens in telecommunications.
International Journal of Social Robotics, 2014, Vol 6, Issue 3, p. 429-442
Teleoperated android; Minimal design; Embodied communication; Social isolation; Elderly care; Social acceptance