Understanding older adults' perceptions of usefulness of an assistive home robot
Beer, Jenay M.
MetadataShow full item record
Developing robots that are useful to older adults is more than simply creating robots that complete household tasks. To ensure that older adults perceive a robot to be useful, careful consideration of the users’ capabilities, robot autonomy, and task is needed (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000). The purpose of this study was to investigate the construct of perceived usefulness within the context of robot assistance. Mobile older adults (N = 12) and older adults with mobility loss (N=12) participated in an autonomy selection think aloud task, and a persona based interview. Findings suggest that older adults with mobility loss preferred an autonomy level where they command/control the robot themselves. Mobile older adults’ preferences were split between commanding/controlling the robot themselves, or the robot commands/controls itself. Reasons for their preferences were related to decision making, and were task specific. Additionally, findings from the persona base interview study support Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) constructs, as well as adaptability, reliability, and trust as positively correlated with perceptions of usefulness. However, despite the positive correlation, barriers and facilitators of acceptance identified in the interview suggest that perceived usefulness judgments are complex, and some questionnaire constructs were interpreted differently between participants. Thus, care should be taken when applying TAM constructs to other domains, such as robot assistance to promote older adult independence.