Tema 2: Ethel and her Telenoid: Toward using humanoids to alleviate symptoms of dementia

  • Jens Dinesen Strandbech SOSU Nord Future Lab
Nøgleord: Robots, Social Robots, Humanoid robots, Teleoperated robots, Human-humanoid-interaction, Functionally Designed Anthropomorphic Robots, Robot Assisted Therapy, Animal Assisted Therapy, Healthcare, Dementia, Telenoid


This article elaborates on a longitudinal study investigating if conversations with the teleoperated humanoid robot Telenoid can alleviate symptoms of dementia. The article initially frames Telenoid in the field of social robotics and relevant dementia-initiatives before dwelling on the emerging relationship between Telenoid and a person with severe dementia. Here it is shown how persons with severe dementia can benefit greatly from interaction with Functionally Designed Anthropomorphic Robots such as Telenoid as a means of providing a temporary ‘conversational stepping stone’, working toward improving quality of life and regaining conversational and social confidence to seek and interact socially with others.


Aldebaran Robotics. (2015a). Nao: a friendly and interactive robot [Aldebaran.com]. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from https://www.aldebaran.com/en/humanoid-robot/nao-robot Aldebaran Robotics. (2015b). Who is Pepper? [Aldebaran.com]. Retrieved July 15, 2015, from https://www.aldebaran.com/en/a-robots/who-is-pepper Alzheimer’s Disease International. (2009). World Alzheimer Report 2009. Alzheimer’s Disease International. Retrieved from http://www.alz.co.uk/research/world-report Alzheimer’s Society. (2007). Dementia UK - A report into the prevalence and cost of dementia. London: Alzheimer’s Society. Retrieved from http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=2 Becker-Asano, C., & Ishiguro, H. (2011). Evaluating facial displays of emotion for the android robot Geminoid F. In 2011 IEEE Workshop on Affective Computational Intelligence (WACI) (pp. 1–8). http://doi.org/10.1109/WACI.2011.5953147 Breazeal, C. (2003). Toward sociable robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42(3), 167–175. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8890(02)00373-1 Broadbent, E., Stafford, R., & MacDonald, B. (2009). Acceptance of Healthcare Robots for the Older Population: Review and Future Directions. International Journal of Social Robotics, 1(4), 319–330. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12369-009-0030-6 Brodaty, H., & Arasaratnam, C. (2012). Meta-Analysis of Nonpharmacological Interventions for Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(9), 946–53. Capek, K, & Playfair, N. (1961). Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.),. (Selver, P, Trans.). USA: Oxford University Press. Cevizci, S., Murat, H., Gunes, F., & Karaahmet, E. (2013). Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities in Alzheimer’s Disease. In I. Zerr (Ed.), Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease. InTech. Retrieved from http://www.intechopen.com/books/understanding-alzheimer-s-disease/animal-assisted-therapy-and-activities-in-alzheimer-s-disease Chandler, C. K. (2012). Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling (2. ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. Embgen, S., Luber, M., Becker-Asano, C., Ragni, M., Evers, V., & Arras, K. O. (2012). Robot-specific social cues in emotional body language. European Commission. (2005). STAT-05-48_EN. Retrieved from http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STAT-05-48_en.htm European Commission. (2014). Population ageing in Europe: facts, implications and policies : outcomes of EU-funded research. Luxembourg: Publications Office. Retrieved from http://dx.publications.europa.eu/10.2777/60452 EUROSTAT. (2015a, March 2). Population Projections [http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tps00002]. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from EUROSTAT. (2015b, March 2). Proportion of population aged 65 and over [http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&plugin=1&language=en&pcode=tps00028]. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from Fitzgerald, C. (2013). Developing baxter. In 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA) (pp. 1–6). http://doi.org/10.1109/TePRA.2013.6556344 Fong, T., Nourbakhsh, I., & Dautenhahn, K. (2003). A survey of socially interactive robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 42(3–4), 143–166. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8890(02)00372-X Geminoid.jp. (2015). Telenoid. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from http://www.geminoid.jp/projects/kibans/Telenoid-overview.html Hidenobu Sumioka, S. N. (2012). Teleoperated android for mediated communication : body ownership, personality distortion, and minimal human design, 32–39. Ishiguro, H., & Nishio, S. (2007). Building artificial humans to understand humans. Journal of Artificial Organs, 10(3), 133–142. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10047-007-0381-4 ISO. (2012). Robots and Robotic Devices - ISO 8373:2012. In ISO (Vol. 2012). ISO. Retrieved from https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:8373:ed-2:v1:en:term:2.6 Johnson, D. O., Cuijpers, R. H., Juola, J. F., Torta, E., Simonov, M., Frisiello, A., … Beck, C. (2014). Socially Assistive Robots: A Comprehensive Approach to Extending Independent Living. International Journal of Social Robotics, 6(2), 195–211. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12369-013-0217-8 Jst.go.jp. (2015, August 3). Erica [http://www.jst.go.jp/pr/announce/20150803-2/]. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from http://www.jst.go.jp/pr/announce/20150803-2/ Klein, B., & Cook, G. (2012). Emotional Robotics in Elder Care – A Comparison of Findings in the UK and Germany. In S. S. Ge, O. Khatib, J.-J. Cabibihan, R. Simmons, & M.-A. Williams (Eds.), Social Robotics (pp. 108–117). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-34103-8_11 Kuwamura, K., Minato, T., Nishio, S., & Ishiguro, H. (2012). Personality distortion in communication through teleoperated robots. In 2012 IEEE RO-MAN (pp. 49–54). http://doi.org/10.1109/ROMAN.2012.6343730 Lee, J., Takehashi, H., Nagai, C., & Obinata, G. (2012). Design of a therapeutic robot for interacting with autistic children through interpersonal touch (pp. 712–717). IEEE. http://doi.org/10.1109/ROMAN.2012.6343835 Marti, P., Bacigalupo, M., Giusti, L., Mennecozzi, C., & Shibata, T. (2006). Socially Assistive Robotics in the Treatment of Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia. In The First IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2006. BioRob 2006 (pp. 483–488). http://doi.org/10.1109/BIOROB.2006.1639135 Mori, M. (1970). Bukimi No Tani [The Uncanny Valley]. Energy, 7(4), 33–35. Nishio, S., Watanabe, T., Ogawa, K., & Ishiguro, H. (2012). Body Ownership Transfer to Teleoperated Android Robot. In S. S. Ge, O. Khatib, J.-J. Cabibihan, R. Simmons, & M.-A. Williams (Eds.), Social Robotics (pp. 398–407). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-34103-8_40 Oreck, A. (2015, July 15). The Golem. Retrieved from https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Golem.html Paro Robots. (2014). PARO Therapeutic Seal. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from http://www.parorobots.com/ Pfadenhauer, M., & Dukat, C. (2015). Robot Caregiver or Robot-Supported Caregiving? International Journal of Social Robotics, 7(3), 393–406. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12369-015-0284-0 The Alzheimer’s Association. (2014). 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, 10(2). Wada, K., Shibata, T., Saito, T., Sakamoto, K., & Tanie, K. (2005). Psychological and Social Effects of One Year Robot Assisted Activity on Elderly People at a Health Service Facility for the Aged. In Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2005. ICRA 2005 (pp. 2785–2790). http://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2005.1570535 Weir, S., & Emanuel, R. (1976). Using Logo to Catalyse Communication in an Autistic Child. University of Edinburgh. World Health Organization. (2007). The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/GRNBOOK.pdf Yamazaki, R., Nishio, S., Ishiguro, H., Minato, T., Nørskov, M., Ishiguro, N., … Fujinami, T. (2012). Social Inclusion of Senior Citizens by a Teleoperated Android : Toward Inter-generational TeleCommunity Creation. Workshop on Assistance and Service Robotics in a Human Environment in the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2012, 53–58.

Strandbech, J. (2015). Tema 2: Ethel and her Telenoid: Toward using humanoids to alleviate symptoms of dementia. Tidsskriftet Læring Og Medier (LOM), 8(14). https://doi.org/10.7146/lom.v8i14.21990