Adding a context: will it influence human-robot interaction of people living with dementia?

J. Hendrix, Yuan Feng, Marieke van Otterdijk, Emilia I. Barakova

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Improving the quality of life of people with dementia in long-term care facilities is very important and can be achieved by designing engaging activities for the residents. The introduction of social robots for people with dementia has already proven its benefits, and we expected that adding contextual cues to this interaction would enhance the positive engagement of these individuals. A total of five participants took part in a comparison study in which they engaged in a free-play session with the robot PLEO and in a free-play session with the robot PLEO within a jungle-themed context. The gaze and arm/hand behaviors of the participants were measured and were used to determine the level of their engagement. Contrary to our expectations, we found a significant decrease in engagement for the sessions where the context was added to the interaction. Our explanation of this result is that the added cues increased the threshold to interact with the robot, but the elderly were still engaged as spectators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robotics - 11th International Conference, ICSR 2019, Proceedings
EditorsMiguel A. Salichs, Shuzhi Sam Ge, Emilia Ivanova Barakova, John-John Cabibihan, Alan R. Wagner, Álvaro Castro-González, Hongsheng He
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-35888-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-35887-7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2019
EventSocial Robotics (ICSR 2019)
- Madrid, Spain
Duration: 26 Nov 201929 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science


ConferenceSocial Robotics (ICSR 2019)


  • People with dementia
  • Social robots
  • Contextual design
  • Multi-sensory stimulation
  • Engagement
  • human-robot interaction
  • Human-robot interaction

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