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

Marketta Niemelä (Corresponding author), Lina van Aerschot, Antti Tammela, Iina Aaltonen

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

    16 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
    EditorsAbderrahmane Kheddar, Eiichi Yoshida, Shuzhi Sam Ge, Kenji Suzuki, John-John Cabibihan, Friederike Eyssel, Hongsheng He
    Place of PublicationCham
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70022-9
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-70021-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event9th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2017 - Tsukuba, Japan
    Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017

    Publication series

    SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


    Conference9th International Conference on Social Robotics, ICSR 2017
    Abbreviated titleICSR 2017
    Internet address


    • Elderly
    • residential care
    • teleprsence robot
    • social relationships


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