A review of high-level robot functionality for elderly care

Nico Sun, Erfu Yang, Jonathan Corney, Yi Chen, Zeli Ma

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents an evidence-based overview of the functionality that robotic care systems should provide. The results identify a number of key characteristics that range from existing commercial products to research prototypes. For example, social care needs voice assistance that already exists in the form of smart speakers. Such systems provide an opportunity for entertainment and the ability to stay in contact with caregivers, friends and family. Consequently, a good speech recognition and ability to perform conversations were highly valued by elderly users. In contrast, care robots providing physical assistance still have not left the prototype phase and generally, do not have enough skills to be considered useful in the home. The results highlight the fact that the most common difficulties the elderly experience have not been solved and should be focused on in the future. The perception of usefulness and integration into the existing home of an elderly person are the main barriers to a robot being accepted as a part of the household. One of the paper’s conclusions is that an ecosystem open to independent developers could greatly increase the robotic skill-set and the chance that it can perform a useful task for its user.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2018
Event24th International Conference on Automation & Computing - Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sept 20187 Sept 2018
Conference number: 24th


Conference24th International Conference on Automation & Computing
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle upon Tyne


  • healthcare robotics
  • elderly care needs
  • care robot acceptance
  • robot skills


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