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Realization and user evaluation of a companion robot for people with mild cognitive impairments

This paper presents results of user evaluations with a socially assistive robot companion for older people suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and living (alone) at home. Within the European FP7 project “CompanionAble” (2008-2012) [1], we developed assistive technologies combining a mobile robot and smart environment with the aim to support these people and assist them living in their familiar home environment. For a final evaluation, user experience studies were conducted with volunteer users who were invited to a test home where they lived and freely used the robot and integrated system over a period of two days. Services provided by the companion robot include reminders of appointments (pre-defined or added by the users themselves or their informal carer) as well as frequent recommendations to specific activities, which were listed e.g. by their family carers. Furthermore, video contact with relatives and friends, a cognitive stimulation game designed especially to counter the progress of cognitive impairments, and the possibility to store personal items with the robot are offered. Recognition of the user entering or leaving the home is triggering situation specific reminders like agenda items due during the (expected) absence, missed calls or items not to be forgotten. Continuing our previous work published in [2], this paper presents detailed description of the implemented assistive functions and results of user studies conducted during April and May 2012 in the smart house of the Dutch project partner Smart Homes in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

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Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation

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Scopus scopus - exported 1/8/16
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