Towards a Methodology for Longitudinal Evaluation of Social Robotic Telepresence for Elderly

Coradeschi, S., Kristoffersson, A., Loutfi, A., Von Rump, S., Cesta, A., Cortellessa, G., Gonzalez, J.

In Proc. of the HRI 2011 Workshop on Social Robotic Telepresence, pp. 23-28. March 6 2011, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2011

This paper describes a methodology for performing longitudinal evaluations when a social robotic telepresence system is deployed in realistic environments. This work is the core of an Ambient Assisted Living Project called ExCITE, Enabling Social Interaction Through Telepresence. The ExCITE project is geared towards an elderly audience and has as aim to increase social interaction among elderly, their family and healthcare services by using robotic telepresence. The robotic system used in the project is called the Giraff robot and over a three year period, prototypes of this platform are deployed at a number of test-sites in different European countries where user feedback is collected and feedback into the refinement of the prototype. In this paper, we discuss the methodology of ExCITE in particular relation to other methodologies for longitudinal evaluation. The paper also provides a discussion of the possible pitfalls and risks in performing longitudinal studies of this nature particularly as they relate to social robotic telepresence technologies.