Publication details

Human - Robot Interaction from the Active Ageing Perspective

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Year of publication 2023
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description Introduction: The interaction between robots and humans has been of interest for quite some time, but less attention has been devoted to the use of humanoid robots in community settings, with older adults, for their active ageing. This chapter discusses the use of robots and technologies for the older population and highlights the social interactivity of the humanoid for older users. Methods: The case study of interaction of older adults with the humanoid robot Pepper (SoftBank Robotics) describes the experimental intervention at the Active Ageing Centre for older adults in Prague run by the NGO Life 90. The edutainment concept of “robotics for seniors” has institutionalised regular meetings of older women and men with the robot. In these meetings, we have engaged in semi-participant observation, collecting qualitative data in the form of interviews, focus groups, and observations. Results: The robot is a valid partner for a social interaction, however small and imperfect, as well as a source of new interaction and identity boosts. Participants enjoy not only a good time “with” the robot, but also “because of” the robot; its technology is an innovative subject around which meaningful and rewarding human (both inter- and intra-generational) social interaction could be built. Discussion: Technological ageism is a major hindrance in overcoming the digital divide among older adults. More effort to design age-friendly technologies will result in better user experience and a higher level of optimism about technological solutions for the ageing population.
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