The purpose of this study was to explore perceived difficulties and needs of older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their attitudes toward an assistive robot to develop appropriate robot functionalities. Twenty subjects were recruited to participate in either a focus group or an interview. Findings revealed that although participants reported difficulties in managing some of their daily activities, they did not see themselves as needing assistance. Indeed, they considered that they were capable of coping with difficulties with some compensatory strategies. They therefore declared that they did not need or want a robot for the moment but that they considered it potentially useful either for themselves in the future or for other older adults suffering from frailty, loneliness, and disability. Factors underlying unwillingness to adopt an assistive robot were discussed. These issues should be carefully addressed in the design and diffusion processes of an assistive robot.
Keywords: assistive robot; care of elderly people; mild cognitive impairment; technology acceptance.
© The Author(s) 2014.