Care robots in society: Knowledge and orientation needs

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Pekkarinen Satu, Hennala Lea, Tuisku Outi, Gustafsson Christine, Johansson-Pajala Rose-Marie, Thommes Kirsten, Hoppe Julia, Melkas Helinä
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Gerontechnology
ISBN: ISSN/EISSN 1569-1101 1569-111X
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access publication


Purpose Care
robots are being taken into use in elderly care services, but the situation is dynamic
in terms of technological development and socio-institutional adaptation.We study the knowledge and orientation needs related
to care robots in three European countries. “Orientation” is here understood as
the introduction to
technology use and learning of different skills for effective use of care
robots, but also as societal awareness-raising related to the uptake of robots
in elderly care. Method The
data for this study were collected in 33 interviews conducted in Germany, Sweden and Finland. The interviewees represented public sector service organizations,
robotics companies, interest organizations of social and healthcare
professionals, end-users’ interest organizations as well as educational
organizations. The interviews were transcribed, and a content analysis was
conducted. Results and Discussion There is an immense need for knowledge related to care
robots in the society. It is related to understanding practical contexts and
user needs; availability of different robots; awareness of technological
limitations; knowledge on costs and financing opportunities; knowledge on different
impacts of practical robot use; knowledge on processes, procedures and robots’
tasks in care, and knowledge on regulations. Orientation should include both
technical familiarization with devices, integration of technologies into
working life, and “preparing ground” towards the change caused by the
introduction and use of robots. Constant consolidation of users’ needs and
technological opportunities is needed, as is collaboration between different
professions. As the lack of knowledge creates both overly optimistic beliefs and
exaggerated fears as to robots’ capabilities and impacts of their use, it is crucial
to provide a multi-faceted view of robots in elderly care through continuous orientation
at the different levels of the society. Providing opportunities to gain
practical experiences of robots is essential. The most effective results are
likely to be gained when proceeding with small steps and dialogue in this
orientation process.

Last updated on 2020-03-12 at 10:20