Low-cost pet robots are a promising technology to improve the psychosocial health of people living with dementia. More high quality studies with sufficiently large sample sizes should be conducted to properly investigate their impacts.
Explanation and examples
Pet robots are a technology-based substitute to animal assisted therapy. However, the high costs of many pet robots can hinder the use of pet robots in dementia care. A scoping review was conducted to understand the impact of using lower-cost (more affordable) pet robots. Synthesised findings from nine studies suggested that low-cost pet robots improved the communication, social interactions and other health domains of older adults and people living with dementia. However, most studies had a small sample size and were of varying quality. Moving forward, more rigorous studies are necessary to investigate their impacts.
ThemesOlder adults Pet robots Psychosocial impact Robotic pets Social robots
Target groupsDementia care organisations (nursing homes & day care centres) Dementia researchers Healthcare professionals Social robot designers/developers
Type of evidence
Koh, W. Q., Ang, F. X. H., & Casey, D. (2021). Impacts of low-cost robotic pets for older adults and people with dementia: scoping review. JMIR Rehabilitation and assistive technologies, 8(1), e25340. doi.org/2196/25340