An Acceptance Test for Assistive Robots

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Jul 14;20(14):3912. doi: 10.3390/s20143912.


Socially assistive robots have been used in the care of elderly or dependent people, particularly with patients suffering from neurological diseases, like autism and dementia. There are some proposals, but there are no standardized mechanisms for assessing a particular robot's suitability for specific therapy. This paper reports the evaluation of an acceptance test for assistive robots applied to people with dementia. The proposed test focuses on evaluating the suitability of a robot during therapy sessions. The test measures the rejection of the robot by the patient based on observational data. This test would recommend what kind of robot and what functionalities can be used in therapy. The novelty of this approach is the formalization of a specific validation process that only considers the reaction of the person to whom the robot is applied, and may be used more effectively than existing tests, which may not be adequate for evaluating assistance robots. The test's feasibility was tested by applying it to a set of dementia patients in a specialized care facility.

Keywords: acceptance test; assistive robots; dementia.