A pilot study exploring staff acceptability of a socially assistive robot in a residential care facility that accommodates people under 65 years old Academic Article uri icon


  • ABSTRACTSocially assistive robots have successfully been trialed in residential care facilities (RCFs) for older adults. These robots may have potential for younger adults (i.e. under 65 years old) who also live in RCFs. However, it is important to investigate staff acceptability and ease-of-use of these robots. This pilot study used the Technology Acceptance Model to investigate how staff working in a specialized RCF for younger adults accept Betty, a socially assistive robot who was introduced in the facility for 12 weeks. Twenty-four staff completed pre-questionnaires, reporting that they thought Betty would have the ability to engage and entertain the residents they cared for. While there were only eight staff who completed the post-questionnaires, there were significant improvements compared to the pre-questionnaire results in areas such as residents enjoying the contact and activities. Impacting on ease-of use were technical difficulties. Although this study had limitations and could be improved by a better response rate and investigating the residents’ acceptability of Betty, this study is one of the first to report that this novel technology may have much potential for engaging adults in RCFs.


  • Loi, Samantha M
  • Bennett, Alice
  • Pearce, Marta
  • Nguyen, Khanh
  • Lautenschlager, Nicola T
  • Khosla, Rajiv
  • Velakoulis, Dennis

publication date

  • 2018