Development of a Robot-Assisted Activity Program for Elderly People Incorporating Reading Aloud and Arithmetic Calculation

  • Yukio Oida
  • Masayoshi Kanoh
  • Masashi Inagaki
  • Yoko Konagaya
  • Kenji Kimura


We developed a robot-assisted activity (RAA) program using learning tasks with a communication robot. The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of this RAA program for elderly people. Subjects were four women (aged 81.5 ± 3.1 years old) living in a geriatric health services facility. The cognitive ability of the participants estimated by Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) was 23 ± 2.8 points. The RAA program consisted of reading aloud a Japanese folk tale and arithmetic calculation including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Participants were asked to perform the RAA program at least once daily for 1 month in their private room. The communication robot (Business Design Laboratory, Nagoya, Japan) could talk with humans and change its facial expression. The time required for the RAA program was approximately 20 min. A focus group interview (FGI) was held for all subjects after the intervention period. Subjects performed the RAA program 57 ± 33 times during the intervention period. The FGI identified positive opinions regarding the robot such as interest in it, attachment to it, and pleasure obtained through it.


Health Care Facility Focus Group Interview Support Person Learning Period Voice Recognition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to express their sincere appreciation to the subjects who participated in the research and to the staff at Ruminasu Obu, a health care facility for the elderly, for their support and cooperation in the implementation of the present research.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukio Oida
    • 1
  • Masayoshi Kanoh
    • 1
  • Masashi Inagaki
    • 1
  • Yoko Konagaya
    • 2
  • Kenji Kimura
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Information Science and TechnologyChukyo UniversityToyotaJapan
  2. 2.Department of ResearchObu Dementia Care and Training CenterObuJapan
  3. 3.Business Design Laboratory LtdNagoyaJapan

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