The influence of social presence on acceptance of a companion robot by older people

Marcel Heerink, Ben Kröse, Vanessa Evers, Bob Wielinga


If robotic companions are to be used in the near future by aging adults, they have to be accepted by them. In the process of developing a methodology to measure, predict and explain acceptance of robotic companions, we researched the influence of social abilities, social presence and perceived enjoyment. After an experiment (n=30) that included collecting usage data and a second experiment (n=40) with a robot in a more and less sociable condition we were able to confirm the relevance of these concepts. Results suggest that social abilities contribute to the sense of social presence when interacting with a robotic companion and this leads, through higher enjoyment to a higher acceptance score.


Human robot interaction; Technology acceptance; Assistive technology