Design of an Affordable Socially Assistive Robot for Remote Health and Function Monitoring and Prognostication

Michelle J Johnson, Michael J Sobrepera, Enri Kina, and Rochelle Mendonca
Publication Target: 
Publication Issue: 
Special Issue PHM for Human Health and Performance
Submission Type: 
Full Paper
ijphm_19_005.pdf7.23 MBMarch 6, 2019 - 10:47am

To address shortages in rehabilitation clinicians and provide
for the growing numbers of elder and disabled patients needing
rehabilitation, we have been working towards developing an af-
fordable socially assistive robot for remote therapy and health
monitoring. Our system is being designed to initially work via
remote control, while addressing some of the challenges of
traditional telepresence. To understand how to design a sys-
tem to meet the needs of elders, we created a mobile therapy
robot prototype from two commercial robots and demonstrated
this system to clinicians in two types of rehabilitation care
settings: a daycare setting and a inpatient rehabilitation set-
ting. We propose to introduce the prototype as a social and
therapy agent into clinician-patient interactions with the aim
of improving the quality of information transfer between the
clinician and the patient. This paper describes an investigative
effort to understand how clinicians who work with elders ac-
cept this prototype. Clinicians from each setting differed in
their needs for the robot. Those in daycare settings preferred a
more social robot to encourage and motivate elders to exercise
as well as monitor their health. Clinicians in the inpatient
rehabilitation setting desired a robot with more therapeutic
and treatment capabilities. Both groups wanted a robot with
some autonomy that was portable, maintainable, affordable,
and durable. We discuss these results in detail along with the
ethical implications of increasing the robot’s autonomy and
suggest additional requirements for achieving a smarter robot
that can meet the clinicians’ social, health monitoring and
prognostication desires.

Publication Year: 
Publication Volume: 
Publication Control Number: 
Page Count: 
Submission Keywords: 
Socially Assistive Robotics
Rehabilitation Robotics
Human-centered computing
Intelligent Health Monitoring
Submission Topic Areas: 
Component-level PHM
Systems and platform applications
Submitted by: 

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