A companion robot to keep us company as we grow old – science fiction or a near future reality?
The “aging revolution” is the most important social revolution of our era. The developed world is rapidly moving towards a situation where the percentage of people over the age of 65 exceeds one-third of the population, and life expectancy is over 80 and continues to rise. Many older adults value their independence and prefer to age in their natural environment. Already today, robots can be designed to assist people perform everyday tasks and maintain their independence at home. Yet, there is a scarcity of knowledge regarding older adults’ attitudes toward robots and their preferences regarding robot assistance. The Robotics and Aging track, on May 25, will introduce some of these breakthrough technologies and will deal with issues such as factors influencing user acceptance of robots e.g., functionality, appearance, perceptions of ease of use and usefulness.