Centre for Applied Research of the Faculty on Digital Media & Creative Industries

Social Robotics in PsychoGeriatrics

Can social robots contribute in reducing caregiver workload and improving client well-being?


This research builds on insights gained over the past two years during the NZA Pilot project ‘Social Robotics in Eldercare’. That project focused on the needs, acceptance and sustainable use of robotics in geriatric care. The goals: to support care professionals in their daily activities, to reduce the (perceived) high workload, to reduce costs, and for the client to promote self-direction, well-being and (sense of) safety. To this end, social robot ‘Pepper’ has been deployed at ZorgAccent since the beginning of 2019.

The aim of the extension request is therefore to continue this trajectory and arrive at a model of sustainable deployment of social robot ‘Pepper’ on PG wards. It will be examined what effects occur on a PG ward and whether there are any differences from those previously found.

The user is both the care professional and the resident with the diagnosis of dementia, Providing care to this client population can be intensive and requires a lot of supervision and individual attention: the behavior of clients can turn into incomprehension, restless behavior and even (mild) panic. Fellow residents are inconvenienced by this and may also become restless. Sufficient time and/or the right attention are essential. For the healthcare professional, things such as unrest, work pressure and stress, and sometimes also a lack of time, are a cause for not being able to properly perform daily activities as desired.

Can social robots contribute to reducing the workload for the healthcare worker and improving the well-being (e.g. reducing anxiety) of the client?

Social robots offer new opportunities and can add value to healthcare; It is known from international scientific literature that social robots can monitor the health of the elderly, support their physical and cognitive health and can contribute to a better general well-being. The use of robotics is particularly promising for elderly people with dementia.

ZorgAccent is an organization that is very innovative and wants to investigate what will be possible in the future and what robotics can mean in elderly care, but also what the qualitative and quantitative effects are for both care providers and clients and residents. Due to the increasing demand for care and the increasing shortage on the labor market, ZorgAccent feels socially responsible to look for innovation and technological solutions that either solve problems or that make problems smaller. It has also been shown that when healthcare workers embrace innovation (robotics), the chance of success increases. ‘It comes from the employees, it is from the employees and it becomes the employees’.

The long-term cooperation between the partners is continued with this application.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research FDMCI 6 March 2023

Project Info

Start date 01 Jan 2022
End date 31 Dec 2023