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Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare?

1
Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
2
Faculty of Health, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Robotics 2014, 3(1), 1-21; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics3010001
Received: 1 November 2013 / Revised: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Robotics and Systems)
This article offers a brief overview of most current and potential uses and applications of robotics in health/care and social care, whether commercially ready and available on the market or still at the various stages of research and prototyping. We provide carefully hand-picked examples and pointers to on-going research for each set of identified robotics applications and then discuss the main ingredients for the success of these applications, as well as the main issues surrounding their adoption for everyday use, including sustainability in non-technical environments, patient/user safety and acceptance, ethical considerations such as patient/user privacy, and cost effectiveness. We examine how robotics could (partially) fill in some of the identified gaps in current telehealthcare and home care/self-care provisions. The article concludes with a brief glimpse at a couple of emerging developments and promising applications in the field (soft robots and robots for disaster response) that are expected to play important roles in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: robots; robotics; telehealthcare; Ambient Assisted Living; assistive technology; social care robots; robotics; telehealthcare; Ambient Assisted Living; assistive technology; social care
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Dahl, T.S.; Boulos, M.N.K. Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare? Robotics 2014, 3, 1-21.

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