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Robotdieren in de ouderenzorg : een verkennend onderzoek naar de toegevoegde waarde van het verfijnen van tactiele interactie

Leij, L. van der (2016) Robotdieren in de ouderenzorg : een verkennend onderzoek naar de toegevoegde waarde van het verfijnen van tactiele interactie.

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Abstract:The population of the Netherlands is ageing and because of an expected increase in healthcare costs and an expected decrease in human resources in the care for dementia patients, research is currently aimed at robots that can support this care. Paro, a robotic animal designed to induce positive effects such as relaxation and enjoyment in dementia patients, is an example of a healthcare robot and is being used in long term healthcare facilities because of its positive effects on the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Tactile interaction seems to be an important aspect of the interaction between robotic animals and dementia patients. Robotic animals might be able to achieve greater effects when interacting with dementia patients if they become more advanced in recognizing and interpreting touch. In addition, a greater therapeutic effect might be accomplished by expanding the tactile interaction between robotic animals and dementia patients. However, as seen from studies with Paro, Paro can already achieve positive effects and the added value of a more advanced tactile system seems to be unclear. By assessing the expectations and perspectives of several health care professionals with semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, this study has attempted to determine the added value of implementing a more advanced tactile system in robotic animals. The results show that the participants regard Paro as sufficiently effective in achieving the desired goals. Nevertheless, the participants identified several disadvantages and improvements that can be related to a more advanced tactile system. For example, it seems that the auditory feedback Paro gives in response to touch may lead to overstimulation in patients and may have an undesired effect on them. By implementing a more advanced tactile system and by adding tactile stimuli, for example a breathing rate or a heartbeat, the risk of overstimulation may be reduced. This demonstrates that implementing a more advanced tactile system and expanding the tactile interaction may contribute to the therapeutic effect and a more natural interaction between robotic animal and patient. In order to accomplish this, more knowledge is needed on the effects of different auditory, visual and tactile stimuli. Future research could focus on identifying the most essential stimuli for achieving a therapeutic effect. In addition, more research is needed on the features of touch that can help distinguish between different intentions and on how a robotic animal can automatically recognize and interpret these intentions. Finally, this study shows that the added value of a more advanced robotic animal in general seems to be the ability to provide alternative activities and additional technological features (e.g. recreational activities and verbal interaction) to reach different target groups and goals (e.g. community dwelling elderly and robot therapy).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70280
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