Seniors to robots: don’t get too familiar

October 29, 2012

Seniors draw that line on robot familiarity (credit: Wendy Rogers/Georgia Tech)

Seniors (ages 65 to 93 years) preferred robotic more than human help for chores such as cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and taking out the trash, but not for help getting dressed, eating and bathing, or for social activities, a Georgia Institute of Technology study found.

“It seems that older people are less likely to trust a robot with decision-making tasks than with monitoring or physical assistance,” said Rogers. “Researchers should be careful not to generalize preferences when designing assistive robots.”

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.