Understanding older adults' perceptions of usefulness for the Paro Robot

Sean A. McGlynn, Shawn C. Kemple, Tracy L. Mitzner, Chih Hung King, Wendy Rogers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

There is a growing proportion of older adults in the population. Normal aging brings about difficulty in maintaining autonomy as well as an increased need for social support. Animal-assisted therapy and pet-type robots may be a solution to this problem. However, older adults' living situations cannot always accommodate live animals and there are design limitations associated with many of the current pet-type robots. Paro's design addresses some of these issues, but perceptions of Paro's usefulness remain largely unexplored in the normally aging older adult population. The focus of this paper was to address perceived usefulness of the robot Paro as well as potential influencing factors of perceived usefulness. In this study, 30 healthy older adults (ages 67-80) completed questionnaires and answered interview questions regarding perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of Paro before and after they interacted with it. The data revealed that the participants were neutral regarding perceived usefulness of Paro in their daily lives. However, most participants indicated specific uses for themselves and others, which raised concerns regarding the applicability of the Perceived Usefulness measure in this context. Furthermore, most participants said that they would want to own Paro, and perceived it as being beneficial to other people. Data analysis is ongoing, but initial findings and potential response trends have been identified and discussed. Our results provide insights into healthy older adults' thoughts toward and acceptance of this robot, as well as potential influencing factors of its acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014
PublisherHuman Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.
Pages1914-1918
Number of pages5
Volume2014-January
ISBN (Electronic)9780945289456
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event58th International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Oct 27 2014Oct 31 2014

Other

Other58th International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period10/27/1410/31/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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    McGlynn, S. A., Kemple, S. C., Mitzner, T. L., King, C. H., & Rogers, W. (2014). Understanding older adults' perceptions of usefulness for the Paro Robot. In 2014 International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2014 (Vol. 2014-January, pp. 1914-1918). Human Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931214581400