Eldercare and Proactive Agents.


MIT MEDIA LAB, 2016-2017

Research study to understand
needs and desires of older adults
for robotic technologies



The increasing geographical separation and the technological divide has made it more difficult for elders to interact with their families. Most countries are projected to see their population of 65 and older surpass the share that is younger than 15 by 2050. The limitations of current aging assisting solutions, the increased social and emotional toll on caregivers and inability of institutions to create structural solutions in a timely manner calls for a paradigm shift in the way we approach aging.

As researchers, designers, family members we view aging as a natural progression of life, and think about how we could solve this problem for our future selves while preparing the fullest possible experience of life.

As these new meanings of age, aged and aging are re-negotiated at a personal and collective level, the main goal of this research project is to study the aging adults’ daily living assistance, social and emotional needs and intergenerational connection while exploring the optimized modalities for a social robot to successfully deliver these interactions and build a long-term companionship.

A mixed-method approach, including participatory design methodologies and interaction studies was utilized in order to help identify preferences and desires for social agent technology through workshops with older adults from varying demographics.


  • initiated and grew first eldercare exploration from Personal Robots Group
  • design and development of mixed-method user research study protocols 
  • design and implementation of human-robot interaction experiences
  • field work with elders from assisted living, independent living, and various demographic profiles
  • analysis of data collected including audio, video, transcripts, and annotations


human-robot interaction design | UX research | participatory design | Python | Pandas | Jibo development tools