Technology for Communication and Relationship Building

The project was completed in 2015

Test of interaction between humans and robots within the welfare sector


Telenoid is developed by the Japanese robotics researcher Hiroshi Ishiguro. Telenoid is made of silicone and looks neither like a man nor a woman, a child nor an adult. This allows the robot to transfer presences of people of different ages and gender. Using advanced video and audio technologies, a caregiver or a relative can communicate with the citizen through the robot, but can also remotely control the robot's arms, and thus, for example, give the citizen a hug.



Objectives and Results

A number of partners in Patient@home, i.e. University of Copenhagen, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Osaka University, and Danish Institute of Technology, have been testing the robot, between October 2013 and April 2014, for usage in the Danish health sector. The goal was to assess which target groups Telenoid can be used by, and whether the robot is relevant to the Danish welfare service. In addition there was a desire to explore how human interaction with intelligent robots can create an emotional relationship between robot and user.



Therefore, the project's contribution is knowledge on how to integrate new technologies into the Danish sector for elderly and disabled persons and the impact such technology will have in practice for staff and employees. In addition, the project have contributed with inputs on how to adapt Telenoid to the Danish sector for the elderly and disabled, and with insight into the interaction between humans and robots.


Telenoid has been tested at Benedict 's Home, a nursing home in the Danish town of Fredensborg, and the Social Enterprise Guldborgsund, an employment and activity programme for people with reduced physical , mental or social functioning.


The testings  showed, among other things, that Telenoid have a set of potentials: for example it could create joy, strengthen communiation skills, bring back memories, and be the one you could confide to - and in that way work as the anonymous call to a hotline, where you could find help to problem solving. Additionally, it was found that operators should possess extraordinary communicative and relations-pedagogical capabilities beside a sharp eye for the ethical aspects of the human/robot-relation.


Furthermore, the test results will be a key element of a doctoral dissertation at the University of Copenhagen. The purpose here is to investigate how older people and people with impaired physical, mental and social functioning living in dementia centres and taking part in leisure activity programmes interpret, apply and perceive the institutions' attempts to apply new relationship technology in healthcare situations.

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