Study of Scenarios and Technical Requirements of a Social Assistive Robot for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients and Their Caregivers
International Journal of Social Robotics

Robots have begun to assist elders and patients suffering dementia. In particular, recent studies have shown how robots can benefit Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. This is a novel area with a promising future but lot of researching needs to be done. The RobAlz project is aimed to assist AD patients and their caregivers by social robots. This project is divided in three phases: the definition of the requirements and scenarios, the development of a new robotic platform, and the evaluation. This work presents the results obtained in the first phase, in which several meetings were conducted with a set of subject-matter experts in the areas of Alzheimer’s Disease and social robotics. The meetings were classified according to the application areas they covered: general aspects, safety, entertainment, personal assistance, and stimulation. The meetings ended up with a repertory of scenarios where robots can be applied to Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers at their home or in longterm care facilities. These scenarios present different psychological, social and technical concerns that must be addressed for the design of the robot. In this work we perform an analysis on the scenarios and present the technical requirements for the development of a first robotic prototype. This prototype will be constructed and tested in real environments in the subsequent phases of the RobAlz project.