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Appropriate talking pattern of an information support robot for people living with dementia: a case study

Yuko Nishiura (Dr Yuko Nishiura is a Researcher, based at Research Institute, The National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Tokorozawa, Japan.)
Takenobu Inoue (Takenobu Inoue is based at Research Institute, The National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Tokorozawa, Japan.)
Misato Nihei (Dr Misato Nihei is a Lecturer, based at Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Tokyo University, Tokyo, Japan.)

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Article publication date: 9 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The authors are in the process of exploring an information support robot to support daily activities of people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. The purpose of this paper is to reveal how the robot should talk to an older woman with dementia to make her perform daily activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The robot asked to the participant to do some daily activities; Task A, taking medicine; Task B, measuring blood pressure; and Task C, cleaning up the room in three different ways for each task. In the talking pattern 1 (TP1), the robot simply informed what the tasks were. The talking patterns 2 and 3 (TP2 and TP3) were separated according to the process of activities in two and three steps, respectively. The participant was required to answer “Yes” if she understood what the robot talked to her, and perform the tasks.

Findings

The participant was not able to prepare water in the Task A when the robot spoke the TP1 (performance rate (PR) was 71.4 per cent). However, she could perfectly take medicine in the case when the robot spoke the processes of the task by the TP3 (PR was 100.0 per cent). The similar tendencies were observed in the Tasks B and C.

Research limitations/implications

Multicenter studies would be required to apply these findings to a larger population.

Originality/value

The authors confirmed that it might be important to determine how the robot talked to people with dementia to properly facilitate their daily activities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Seikatsu Kagaku Un-Ei Co, Ltd. This research was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) under its Strategic Promotion of Innovation Research and Development Program.

Citation

Nishiura, Y., Inoue, T. and Nihei, M. (2014), "Appropriate talking pattern of an information support robot for people living with dementia: a case study", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 177-187. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAT-12-2013-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited