Engaging with the NAO robot
by Dr. Sonja Pedell
This research investigates the integration of humanoid robots into activity group settings with older adults living with dementia. We specifically chose their mobility program, where a mixed method approach consisting of interviews, observations and video analysis was applied to evaluate the level of engagement during different forms of physical exercises and interaction.
Older adults connected emotionally and displayed more interactions with each other when the robot was showing human traits such as sneezing, happiness or failure. Results show that the integration of robots is promising as long as interactions are carefully planned. Robots used in dementia groups are suitable to be deployed for short spurts of interaction and entertainment.
Goal modelling for the NAO robot was developed over the duration of 3 ARC Discovery grants.