A Telepresence Robot in Residential Care: Family Increasingly Present, Personnel Worried About Privacy

Marketta Niemelä, Lina van Aerschot, Antti Tammela, Iina Aaltonen

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

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Elderly people moving into assisted living facilities often face profound changes in their daily routines and social relationships, which may lead to feelings of social isolation and even to depression. Telepresence robots can alleviate this by enabling easily accessible virtual presence of family members and other close ones at the ward. Telepresence robots have been tested in different care environments with often positive responses, but there are still challenges, both technical and non-technical, that hinder the wider adoption of the robots in residential care settings. We seek for more understanding of the non-technical challenges by studying the use of a telepresence robot Double in a residential care facility. In a 12-week field trial, we installed a telepresence robot in a room of a long-term care home resident for communicating with her family members. The qualitative interview data included the perspectives of the resident, her family members and care workers at the ward. The results confirm the potential of telepresence robots in assisted living in order to increase the presence of family members to the resident and vice versa; the study also provides insight about how the increased presence of family members may affect the care work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSocial Robotics - 9th International Conference, ICSR 2017, Proceedings
    Subtitle of host publicationICSR 2017
    EditorsKenji Suzuki, Hongsheng He, Abderrahmane Kheddar, Eiichi Yoshida, Friederike Eyssel, Shuzhi Sam Ge, John-John Cabibihan
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-70021-2, 978-3-319-70022-9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event9th International Conference on Social Robotics - Tsukuba, Japan
    Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science
    Volume10652 LNAI


    Conference9th International Conference on Social Robotics
    Abbreviated titleICSR
    Internet address


    • Elderly
    • residential care
    • teleprsence robot
    • social relationships

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  • Prizes

    ICSR Best Paper Award

    Niemelä, Marketta (Recipient), Tammela, Antti (Recipient), Iina Aaltonen (Recipient) & Lina van Aerschot (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: Honorary award

    Cite this

    Niemelä, M., van Aerschot, L., Tammela, A., & Aaltonen, I. (2017). A Telepresence Robot in Residential Care: Family Increasingly Present, Personnel Worried About Privacy. In K. Suzuki, H. He, A. Kheddar, E. Yoshida, F. Eyssel, S. S. Ge, & J-J. Cabibihan (Eds.), Social Robotics - 9th International Conference, ICSR 2017, Proceedings: ICSR 2017 (pp. 85-94). Springer. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol.. 10652 LNAI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70022-9_9, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70022-9_9