What people with dementia want: designing MARIO an acceptable robot companion
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CASEY, D; FELZMANN, H; PEGMAN, G; KOUROUPETROGLOU, C; MURPHY, K; KOUMPIS, A & WHELAN, S (2016) What People with Dementia Want: Designing MARIO an Acceptable Robot Companion 15th International conference on computers Helping People with Special Needs University of Linz, Austria, 13/07/2016- 15/07/2016
The number of people with dementia is expected to double every 20 years to 66 million by 2030 and 115 million by 2050 . More than a third of people with dementia have reported loneliness . Robots have the potential to combat the devastating impact of loneliness in people with dementia by improving, mood, quality of life  and reduce social isolation by facilitating people with dementia (PWD) to maintain social contacts. However companion robots designed for PWD need to be customised to meet individual needs if they are to be perceived as useful and acceptable. It is imperative therefore that technologists and robot developers talk and listen to what people with dementia and their carers think and say about having a companion robot and what it is they would like a robot companion to be able to do for them. However there is little reported in the literature as to how this can be done and what it is people with dementia would like to see in a robot companion. This paper presents a brief review of the literature focusing on the state of the Art in relation to the usefulness of robots for people with dementia, which is an important factor that governs the acceptability of companion robots. It also includes an overview of the ethical considerations that inform robot development and how these will influence the development of the MARIO companion robot. This is followed with a description of a small qualitative study which describes how people with dementia and other key stakeholders helped to design and shape this robot. The paper concludes with an overview of the unique aspect of the MARIO robot and outlines the scientific impact of this work.