Mobile robotic telepresence (MRP) systems feature a video conferencing interface on a mobile robot, enabling pilot users to remotely control the robot while communicating with a local user. For older adults in an assisted living facility, the operators are mostly caregivers or remote family members. This small-sample usability testing aimed to evaluate the use of MRP by the older adult. Participants navigated the robot to locations in the home, e.g., to check if the front-door is closed. Two levels of automation were introduced; assisted teleoperation and autonomous. Observations revealed that the older adults enjoyed the dexterity with which the robot could be teleoperated in the assisted teleoperation mode. Yet, they preferred the operation of the MRP at the autonomous mode where the robot navigated autonomously towards the locations the user indicated. Usability, preference and objective findings raise awareness regarding elder care assistive robot developmental factors. Future experimental plans are discussed.
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|Published - 9 Feb 2021