Understanding the Preference of the Elderly for Companion Robot Design
Companion robots have been utilized as technical solutions to alleviate the problems of the elderly. Various types of companion robots have been suggested by human–robot interaction researchers. However, the appearance of some companion robots lacks analysis from the formative perspective. Therefore, we developed five robot design concepts based on literature reviews and the formative analysis of commercialized robots. In total, 19 participants of different age groups were interviewed to rate their preference for the developed design concepts. Cross-tabulation analysis and qualitative findings showed that the preference for the design concepts differed with the age group. The elderly preferred rounded and anthropomorphic robot designs. When evaluating the appearance of a robot, they preferred an intimate design enabling talking to the robot. However, the younger adults preferred neat and tidy designs with less detailed design elements. They considered the actual usage of the robot, emphasizing on maintenance and sanitation.
KeywordsCompanion robot Elderly Appearance Design concept
This research was supported by Research Program to Solve Social Issues of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2017M3C8A8091770). This research was supported by the MIST (Ministry of Science and ICT), Korea, under the “ICT Consilience Creative Program” (IITP-2018-2017-0-01015) supervised by the IITP (Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion). We would like to thank Jimin Ryu for designing the companion robot images.
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