A Robot of My Own: Participatory Design of Socially Assistive Robots for Independently Living Older Adults Diagnosed with Depression

  • Selma ŠabanovićEmail author
  • Wan-Ling Chang
  • Casey C. Bennett
  • Jennifer A. Piatt
  • David Hakken
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9193)


This paper presents an ongoing project using participatory design methods to develop design concepts for socially assistive robots (SARs) with older adults diagnosed with depression and co-occurring physical illness. We frame SARs development in the context of preventive patient-centered healthcare, which empowers patients as the primary drivers of health and aims to delay the onset of disease rather than focusing on treatment. After describing how SARs can be of benefit in this form of healthcare, we detail our participatory design study with older adults and therapists aimed at developing preventive SARs applications for this population. We found therapists and older adults to be willing and able to participate in assistive robot design, though hands-on participation was a challenge. Our findings suggest that important areas of concern for older adults with depression are social interaction and companionship, as well as technologies that are easy to use and require minimal intervention.


Assistive robotics Social robots Participatory design Elderly Depression Patient-centered healthcare 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Selma Šabanović
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wan-Ling Chang
    • 1
  • Casey C. Bennett
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jennifer A. Piatt
    • 3
  • David Hakken
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Informatics and ComputingIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Centerstone Research InstituteBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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