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Robotics 2018, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics7010003

Technology Acceptance and User-Centred Design of Assistive Exoskeletons for Older Adults: A Commentary

1
School of Design, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
2
Health Research Institute & School of Design, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
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Abstract

Assistive robots are emerging as technologies that enable older adults to perform activities of daily living with autonomy. Exoskeletons are a subset of assistive robots that can support mobility. Perceptions and acceptance of these technologies require understanding in a user-centred design context to ensure optimum experience and adoption by as broad a spectrum of older adults as possible. The adoption and use of assistive robots for activities of daily living (ADL) by older adults is poorly understood. Older adult acceptance of technology is affected by numerous factors, such as perceptions and stigma associated with dependency and ageing. Assistive technology (AT) models provide theoretical frameworks that inform decision-making in relation to assistive devices for people with disabilities. However, technology acceptance models (TAMs) are theoretical explanations of factors that influence why users adopt some technologies and not others. Recent models have emerged specifically describing technology acceptance by older adults. In the context of exoskeleton design, these models could influence design approaches. This article will discuss a selection of TAMs, displaying a chronology that highlights their evolution, and two prioritised TAMs—Almere and the senior technology acceptance model (STAM)—that merit consideration when attempting to understand acceptance and use of assistive robots by older adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: assistive robots; technology acceptance; mobility assistance; user-centred design assistive robots; technology acceptance; mobility assistance; user-centred design
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Shore, L.; Power, V.; de Eyto, A.; O’Sullivan, L.W. Technology Acceptance and User-Centred Design of Assistive Exoskeletons for Older Adults: A Commentary. Robotics 2018, 7, 3.

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