Abstract Growing Old with Socially Assistive Robots: Intelligent Robots that can Help with Everyday tasks
Socially assistive robots are seen as a unique strategic technology that will become an important part of society especially in a post-pandemic world, aiding people in everyday life, in order to meet the urgent and immediate needs of an aging population. This talk will present some of my group’s recent research efforts in developing intelligent assistive robots to improve quality of life and promote independence (aging-in-place) of older adults, including those living with dementia. In particular, we will discuss our Brian, Casper, Tangy, Blueberry, Salt and Pepper, and Luke and Leia socially assistive robots that are being designed to provide cognitive and social interventions, help with activities of daily living, and lead group recreational activities in human-centered environments. These robots can serve as assistants to individuals as well as groups of users, while learning to personalize their interactions to the needs of the users by using unique bi-directional affect and persuasive strategies. Numerous user studies conducted with older adults in care settings will also be discussed to highlight how these robots can effectively be integrated into people’s everyday lives.