Social Effects of Robot Therapy in a Care House
– Change of Social Network of the Residents for One Year –
Kazuyoshi Wada*,** and Takanori Shibata**
*Tokyo Metropolitan University, 6-6 Asahigaoka, Hino, Tokyo 191-0065, Japan
**National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
Robot therapy in the form of two seal robots was conducted for a year at a care house in Japan. Residents and robots interacted over 9 hours a day. To determine psychological and social robot influence, individual residents were interviewed using the “free pile sort” method and their social interaction was analyzed. After robot use was discontinued, follow-up showed that robots encouraged residents to communicate with each other and strengthen their individual ties during the year of robot use.
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