Older Adults Living With Social Robots: Promoting Social Connectedness in Long-Term Communities


Erin Partridge & Personal Robots Group

Erin Partridge

Ostrowski, A.K., DiPaola, D., Partridge E., Park, H.W., & Breazeal, C. (2019). Older Adults Living with Social Robots: Promoting Social Connectedness in Long-Term Communities. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. doi: 10.1109/MRA.2019.2905234


Social robots have been used to investigate human-to- robot engagement—but connection between one person and another is the real key for human emotional wellness. This work explores the role and impact of a social robot in facilitating human-to-human engagement in an assisted-living community. Older adults, in particular, are a population in need of sufficient social connectedness to promote their well-being. While several studies have sought to investigate how social robots can help to improve older adults’ quality of life, not many have studied their long-term impact on community-level engagement.

This work uses a participatory, mixed-methods, human-centered approach to explore how a social robot influenced the social connectedness within a community of older adults over a three-week period. Participants engaged in daily interactions with a social robot and with associated study materials in their common areas. Our results provide evidence that social robots can successfully enhance senior citizens’ community engagement and social connectedness. 

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