Researchers have reported that companion robots have had positive effects on older adults with depression. However, there has been little quantitative analysis on the relationship between robot design and depression. To address this, we surveyed 191 older adults and investigated the impact of age, gender and depression level on design preferences for companion robots. We focused on toy-sized companion robots and evaluated three design elements: type, weight and material. The findings show that baby-type robots were the most preferred by older adults. They favoured the lightest weights and microfibre materials, regardless of the independent variables. Moreover, robot weight preferences varied significantly with the level of depression. Highly depressed older adults disliked heavy robots. These preliminary findings suggest that companion robots need to be designed with careful consideration of their physical characteristics and potential psychological effects.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Linguistics and Language
- Human-Computer Interaction