Enabling older adults to interact with robots: Why input methods are critical for usability

Jenay M. Beer, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In most studies of human-robot interaction, input devices that are used to give a robot a command have been tested in isolation strictly for their functionality; seldom are comparisons made regarding the ease of use among different input methods. In addition, limited attention is paid as to how certain human capabilities and limitations, or more specifically diminution in hearing, seeing, and motor coordination commonly associated with the aging process, interact with the robot input method, or whether the input method adequately matches the task demands placed on the assistive robot. In this chapter, we attempt to address these areas of robot usability by examining how various agerelated perceptual and motor limitations affect communication with robots. Selecting the right input method can influence older adult adoption rate of assistive robots. Such robots can be instrumental in helping older adults with some of their activities of daily living. We draw from our own previously published empirical studies and those of our colleagues in providing a review of some of the age-related considerations that are pertinent in selecting the right input method for older adult interactions with robots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpeech and Automata in Health Care
EditorsAmy Neustein
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781614515159
ISBN (Print)9781614517092
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpeech Technology and Text Mining in Medicine and Health Care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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