A sociable robot to encourage social interaction among the elderly

In this paper, we present evidence that although current models for introduction of robotic companions stress individual encounters, a social community alternative is promising. This argument emerges from an experiment we conducted with a small interactive robot at two local nursing homes. Here we give a brief introduction to the robot and our experience at…

The robot in the kitchen: The cultural politics of care-work and the development of in-home assistive technology

This paper considers two trends at opposite ends of the new economy: low-paid in-home care work, and the development of high-tech “social” robots. At present, the work of caring for the elderly, disabled, and convalescents is done primarily by women (disproportionately women of color) in the space of the home (Pratt, 1999). Meanwhile, in robotics…

Care Robots for an Over-Aging Society: A Technical Solution for Japan’s Demographic Problem?

Japan has the world's longest life expectancy and highest proportion of older people in its population. As a result, the delivery of old-age care is becoming an urgent and high priority issue for the Japanese government. There is a high demand for care within a society whose population is constantly aging, and within this discrepancy,…