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Niels Christian M Nickelsen

Transitions in care for the disabled: assistive robotics, tasks and responsitbilities

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This paper discusses transitions in care for the disabled as an effect of technologically driven care innovation. Citizens with low or no function in their arms are eligible to use feeding assistive robotics. However, it is difficult to use them and to recruit suitable citizens. This study explores the ways professionals and citizens engage with feeding assistive robotics by reporting from an ethnographic study in housing institutions for the disabled. Two examples are discussed, a success, where self-reliance is the result and a failure, leading to indignity. By using material semiotics as an analytic resource, the article scrutinizes the performance and effects of the technology in practice. On that ground, the article delimits and clarifies ongoing transitions in care providers environment and learning. Despite, the robotics intends to fit neatly into the work and home environment of professionals and citizens it creates, orders and mediates everyday life. The food for instance needs to be prepared in certain ways, the FAR makes noise, and it is fixed to a table and takes up space. In this sense, the robotics pre-scripts the user scenario and allots new tasks, conflicts and worries to the care providers, and thus implicates new roles and responsibilities.
Key words: Assistive robotics, feeding, transitions, care, disability, invisible work, responsibility, material semiotics
Original languageEnglish
Publication year19 Oct 2017
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2017
EventResearching Work and Learning Conference: Transitions, Transformations and Transgressions in Work & Learning Research - Rhodes University Eden Grove Centre, Grahamstown, South Africa
Duration: 6 Dec 20178 Dec 2017
Conference number: 10


ConferenceResearching Work and Learning Conference
LocationRhodes University Eden Grove Centre
CountrySouth Africa
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