How Will Sociable Robots Change Caregiving?

Subject: Sociology
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 560
Topics: Social Work, Experiment, Innovation, Robot

Table of Contents


The article “Effectiveness of Social Behaviors for Autonomous Wheelchair Robot to Support Elderly people in Japan” by Masahiro Shiomi, Takamasa line, Koji Kamei, Chandraprakash Sharma and Norihiro Hagita who work at the Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, in Japan. They conceived and designed the experiment after a thorough collection of data from the public. Their main study focus is on robotics.  


The claim in this article is found on the extent of effectiveness of social behavior relative to the use of the wheelchair robot to support the older adults in Japan in two primary functions, which include speaking behavior and speed adjustment. The article focuses on the analysis of the wheelchair robot differ from the human caregivers and that of the traditional wheelchair. Social behavior of robots, which support the aged, is a significant intention of this research and I confirm that this claim is relevant to my topic of inquiry on how sociable robots change caregiving. 


The experiment carried out revealed three distinct cases, which included a case of moving a wheelchair, with the patient at a speed of about 550mm/s. In this case, the patient does not say anything. This is an illustration of the absence of social behavior. The case involves a robot wheelchair greeting the patient. The robot utters the patient name and moves to the selected area. This is an illustration of a social condition. The other case involves the patient being wheeled by a caregiver. The exercise should be repeated to achieve the intended purpose of making the patients who use the wheelchairs to move from one point to another. 28 people were experimented on to support the claim: 14 men and 14 men whose average age was 74 years and S.D of 6.8. They needed daily care. All of them lived in private care homes. The study discovered that five regularly used wheelchairs and another five irregularly used wheelchairs whenever they are necessary to move from one point to another. The rest did not need daily care (Masahiro et al, 2015). The procedure of the experiment included offering a brief explanation on the wheelchair robot, which included the safety measures and desired speed adjustments. During the experiment, the intention of the seniors to use the wheelchair robot was measured relative to the caregiver aid.


This research boosts my inquiry on how sociable robots change caregiving, and it is attestable that the future of using the robots relative to social behavior among the older adults is promising. The integration of well-designed but straightforward social behavior regarding the social needs of the older adults in the robots will revolutionize the manner and quality of health care given to the senior people in future. It will not be long before the aspect of robot support is embraced in our society. In my quest for adequate information about how sociable robots will change caregiving. It will be an injustice to fail to mention that in the era of technology and digitalization, embracing such development in the nursing and healthcare sectors will be a contributory factor of improving the quality and approach of giving services to the older adults in our society. 

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  1. Masahiro et al (2015).  Effectiveness of Social Behaviors for Autonomous Wheelchair Robot to Support Elderly people in Japan, 10(5), 2015
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