Improving Robot-Assisted Care Using Participatory Design
Event Type
Late Breaking Results
Health Care
Human AI Robot Teaming (HART)
Surface Transportation
TimeThursday, October 13th8:15am - 8:30am EDT
DescriptionThe utility of a robot can promote independence for older adults with severe motor impairments and alleviate the demands of their care partners. The Stretch mobile manipulator created by Hello Robot Inc. has demonstrated such milestones through successful outcomes from an iterative participatory design process. During each cycle, we embedded Stretch in the home of a non-speaking older adult with quadriplegia and his wife for two weeks to promote the functional performance of daily activities, such as grooming and self-feeding, and relieve care partner burden, respectively. Between each cycle of participatory design and evaluation, our interdisciplinary team reviewed the findings and improved the Stretch robot design, including the control components of the web interface, based on the participant feedback. We have completed three full cycles. The improved Stretch and web interface experience allows the user with quadriplegia to operate Stretch by performing activities that not only increase his social, emotional, and relational activities but also promote his ability and active role of assisting his wife with caregiving tasks, such as towing a laundry basket and meal preparation. This participatory design approach paves a significant gateway to supporting aging-in-place for user-centered development of assistive robots that enable older adults with severe motor impairments to engage in activities that would otherwise be too difficult without total assistance from a care partner.