User-centered design of a dynamic-autonomy remote interaction concept for manipulation-capable robots to assist elderly people in the home
In this article, we describe the development of a human-robot interaction concept for service robots to assist elderly people in the home with physical tasks. Our approach is based on the insight that robots are not yet able to handle all tasks autonomously with sufficient reliability in the complex and heterogeneous environments of private homes. We therefore employ remote human operators to assist on tasks a robot cannot handle completely autonomously. Our development methodology was user-centric and iterative, with six user studies carried out at various stages involving a total of 241 participants. The concept is under implementation on the Care-O-bot 3 robotic platform. The main contributions of this article are (1) the results of a survey in form of a ranking of the demands of elderly people and informal caregivers for a range of 25 robot services, (2) the results of an ethnography investigating the suitability of emergency teleassistance and telemedical centers for incorporating robotic teleassistance, and (3) a uservalidated human-robot interaction concept with three user roles and corresponding three user interfaces designed as a solution to the problem of engineering reliable service robots for home environments.