Study relevance of an assistance robot for the elderly in institution
Mrs Lise BRETONa, Dr Pauline COIGNARDb, Prof Gilles KEMOUNc, Mrs Alice HERNOTd, Mrs Hélène DUCHÉd, Mrs Nathalie PICHOTe, Dr Charles FATTALf
a Université de Bretagne sud, b CMRRF Kerpape, c Institut de recherche sur le handicap et le vieillissement, ISIS, Paris, d Association APPROCHE, siège CMRRF Kerpape Ploemeur 56270, e Laboratoire CRPCC Laureps, Université de rennes 2, f CRF Divio, Dijon 21000
Objectives : Study relevance a priori of a mobile service robot dedicated to seniors living in institution. The robot have three functionality: moving support for the fragile person, orientation help of the cognitively vulnerable person and assistance to carry the personal objects.
Method : Beforehand, a slide show was presented suggesting the potential functionality of the robot. Then residents answered semi-structured interview and questionnaire about issues related to five areas: safety, operability, functionality, mutual support, design.
Results : Sixty-two residents were interviewed. 82,3% of residents think that robot acts as an ordinary telealarm. The favourite robot's control mode was the voice (82.6%). The robot was rarely viewed as a companion, but it offered for anyone the image of a servant device to support the resident when moving, guidance as well as carrying objects. 50% of the residents appreciated the three robot's functions especially in case of loss of autonomy. Residents preferred basin height for the robot, while standing. Whatever, the robot presented through a simulation was still subject of surprise and interrogation for 42% of the residents. Finally the residents attached more importance to the functionnalities compared to the design.
Discussion and conclusion : This study shows that the accession of the elderly to the robot in an institution is very nuanced. The assessment is potentially biased by the difficulty of the very old person to project into the possible use of such a device. The function of security or reinsurance dominates the expectations to compensate for the delay of intervention of caregivers particularly at night and / or the discomfort to produce the call.
However, this type of investigation can offer designers all the negative and / or positive representations aroused by such a device and warns about the need to offer immediately a simple but very functional prototype to convince users and financers.
Keywords : robotics, acceptability "a priori", institution, elderly, professionals, evaluation, needs, expectations, perception, security.