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Social Inclusion of Senior Citizens by a Teleoperated Android: Toward Inter-generational TeleCommunity Creation

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  • Ryuji Yamazaki, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International & School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
  • Shuichi Nishio, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Japan
  • Hiroshi Ishiguro, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International & Department of Systems Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Japan
  • Takashi Minato, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Japan
  • Marco Nørskov
  • Nobu Ishiguro, Studies in Language and Society, Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka University, Japan
  • Masaru Nishikawa, Center for the Study of Communication-Design, Osaka University, Japan
  • Tsutomu Fujinami, School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
As populations continue to age, there is a growing need for assistive technologies that help senior citizens maintain their autonomy and enjoy their lives. We explore the potential of teleoperated androids, which are embodied telecommunication media with humanlike appearances. Our exploratory study focused on the social aspects of Telenoid, a teleoperated android designed as a minimalistic human, which might facilitate communica- tion between senior citizens and its operators. We con- ducted cross-cultural field trials in Japan and Denmark by introducing Telenoid into care facilities and the pri- vate homes of seniors to observe how they responded to it. In Japan, we set up a teleoperation system in an elemen- tary school and investigated how it shaped communica- tion through the internet between the elderly in a care facility and the children who acted as teleoperators. In both countries, the elderly commonly assumed positive attitudes toward Telenoid and imaginatively developed various dialogue strategies. Telenoid lowered the barriers for the children as operators for communicating with demented seniors so that they became more relaxed to participate in and positively continue conversations using Telenoid. Our results suggest that its minimalistic human design is inclusive for seniors with or without dementia and facilitates inter-generational communication, which may be expanded to a social network of trans-national supportive relationships among all generations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year12 Oct 2012
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2012
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems: 2012 IEEE International Workshop on Assistance and Service Robotics in a Human Environment - Vila Moura, Portugal
Duration: 7 Oct 201212 Oct 2012

Conference

ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
CountryPortugal
CityVila Moura
Period07/10/201212/10/2012

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