Experiences with Socially Assistive Robot AMIGO for the Motivation of Playful Multimodal Training in Dementia, Proc. Alzheimer Europe Conference

Publication from Digital
Intelligent Vision Applications, Connected Computing

Paletta L., Schüssler S., Zuschnegg J., Lodron G., Fellner M., Russegger S., Lammer L., Prodromou D., Steiner J., Pansy-Resch S., Brunsch S., Carnevale L.

Abstract Book, AEC 2019, The Hague, The Netherlands (poster) , 2019


The increase in dementia causes an increase of the use of health care resources. At the same time there is a decreasing number of available caregivers. Consequently, technologies, like socially assistive robots, have been developed to assist caregivers and persons with dementia (PWD) in promoting independence. Most robots were tested in laboratory settings with mainly elderly people without dementia. Therefore, there is a lack of knowledge about their use in real care situations of persons with dementia.


The project AMIGO explores the experience of PWD, relatives, caregivers and dementia trainers in using robot Pepper in private households. In Companion mode, Pepper provides entertainment, reminders and tailored dialogues. In Coach mode it speci_ cally motivates to use a Tablet PC based playful multimodal training for intervention.


In a pilot study about the usability of the application Pepper spent 1 week in each of 3 Austrian households. In total 12 participants (3 of each target group) were included to collect questionnaire and interview data._ The results of the Technology Usage Inventory (4–28 points span) demonstrate that caregivers and dementia trainers are mainly curious about using Pepper (21.3 and 20.7 points). Relatives emphasize the application of Pepper (18.3 points) but also pronounce skepticism (17 points). PWD most o_ en see the usefulness of Pepper (20 points) with some anxiety in the application (15.3 points). Qualitative results show that most of the participants describe positive feelings, like curiosity, interest and surprise. Pepper’s principal support was seen in the areas of communication/social contacts, recreational activities, learning ability and mobility.


Overall, the AMIGO application was experienced as positive and support opportunities were seen by all participants. The results of this _ rst pilot study support the further development of socially assistive robots to enhance motivation for playful training for persons with dementia in private households.