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Field-based development of an information support robot for persons with dementia



The use of robots for providing support to persons with dementia is very promising. However, it is difficult to develop a truly useful robot system because of the difficulty of clarifying their needs and opinions.


Because a field-based method is effective for the development of these kinds of systems, in this study, we developed a prototype of an information support robot for persons with dementia, using field-based methodology.


A communication robot system produced by NEC Corporation, called “PaPeRo”, was chosen as the platform for this system. To achieve the goal of keeping persons with dementia informed of their daily schedule and prompting them to take desired actions, interactive verbal communication algorithms were programmed into the robot system.


The results of experiments with five dementia sufferers showed that this system produced an information acquisition rate of over 90%. In addition, a life support demonstration showed the possibility of prompting users to perform actions.


These results suggest the possibility of using this robot to support independent living by persons with dementia, and also the effectiveness of the field-based method.