Partner dance has been shown to be beneficial for the health of older adults. Robots could potentially facilitate healthy aging by engaging older adults in partner dance-based exercise. However, partner dance involves physical contact between the dancers, and older adults would need to be accepting of partner dancing with a robot. Using methods from the technology acceptance literature, we conducted a study with 16 healthy older adults to investigate their acceptance of robots for partner dance-based exercise. Participants successfully led a human-scale wheeled robot with arms (i.e., a mobile manipulator) in a simple, which we refer to as the Partnered Stepping Task (PST). Participants led the robot by maintaining physical contact and applying forces to the robot’s end effectors. According to questionnaires, participants were generally accepting of the robot for partner dance-based exercise, tending to perceive it as useful, easy to use, and enjoyable. Participants tended to perceive the robot as easier to use after performing the PST with it. Through a qualitative data analysis of structured interview data, we also identified facilitators and barriers to acceptance of robots for partner dance-based exercise. Throughout the study, our robot used admittance control to successfully dance with older adults, demonstrating the feasibility of this method. Overall, our results suggest that robots could successfully engage older adults in partner dance-based exercise.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)