Investigating the suitability of social robots for the wellbeing of the elderly
This study aims to understand if, and how, social robots can promote wellbeing in the elderly. The existing literature suggests that social robots have the potential to improve wellbeing in the elderly, but existing robots focus more on healthcare and healthy behaviour among the elderly. This work describes a new investigation based on focus groups and home studies, in which we produced a set of requirements for social robots that reduce loneliness and improve psychological wellbeing among the elderly. The requirements were validated with the participants of our study. We anticipate that the results of this work will lead to the design of a new social robot more suited to improving wellbeing of the elderly. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.