Project

Designing social robots for older adults

Copyright

Personal Robots

Personal Robots

Groups

Most countries are projected to see their 65 and older population surpass the number of people under the age of 15 by 2050. The limitations of current aging assisting solutions, the increased social and emotional toll on caregivers, and the inability of institutions to create structural solutions in a timely manner calls for a paradigm shift in the way we approach aging.

As these new meanings of age, aged, and aging are re-negotiated at a personal and collective level, the main goal of this research initiative is to study aging adults’ daily living assistance, social and emotional needs, and intergenerational connection while exploring the optimized modalities for embodied agents to successfully deliver these interactions. We see embodied agents as a method to enable older adults to age-in-place, supporting them in ways such as promoting social connectedness, tracking vitals, coaching in emotional wellness, and assisting with medical adherence.

Our work is rooted in partnering with the community through co-design and participatory design methods to inform robot design by empowering older adults to eng… View full description

Most countries are projected to see their 65 and older population surpass the number of people under the age of 15 by 2050. The limitations of current aging assisting solutions, the increased social and emotional toll on caregivers, and the inability of institutions to create structural solutions in a timely manner calls for a paradigm shift in the way we approach aging.

As these new meanings of age, aged, and aging are re-negotiated at a personal and collective level, the main goal of this research initiative is to study aging adults’ daily living assistance, social and emotional needs, and intergenerational connection while exploring the optimized modalities for embodied agents to successfully deliver these interactions. We see embodied agents as a method to enable older adults to age-in-place, supporting them in ways such as promoting social connectedness, tracking vitals, coaching in emotional wellness, and assisting with medical adherence.

Our work is rooted in partnering with the community through co-design and participatory design methods to inform robot design by empowering older adults to engage in our research. We prioritize developing robot interactions that can be tested long-term in older adults’ homes to better inform how social robots can shape aging-in-place.

If you are 60 years of age or older and interested in participating in future study opportunities, please contact Anastasia Ostrowski (akostrow@media.mit.edu).