Towards Ethical Guidelines of Using Telepresence Robots in Residential Care

Marketta Niemelä (Corresponding Author), Lina van Aerschot, Antti Tammela, Iina Aaltonen, Hanna Lammi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Robotic telepresence is a potential technology to help alleviating the loneliness of elderly people. The impacts of long-term use of telepresence robots in residential care are not well known. We were interested in how using a telepresence robot influences the resident, family members and care workers at a facility, and what challenges and solutions there are for wider adoption of such robots in residential care. With a telepresence robot Double, we arranged a series of three trials in two separate residential care facilities: one 12-week trial in a private facility and two successive 6-week trials in a public facility. In each trial, we installed the telepresence robot in a room of a long-term care home resident for communicating with her/his family members. Based on the results, telepresence robots do increase presence and possibly engagement of family mem-bers in residential care, but privacy is a central concern. The mobility of a telepresence robot is hard to utilize in residential care, and to be able to do so, ethical consideration and guidelines are needed. We provide a draft of such ethical guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Early online date22 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeNot Eligible


  • elderly
  • residential care
  • telepresence robot
  • social relationships
  • privacy
  • ethical guidelines

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