Conference Proceedings

Using robot pets instead of companion animals for older people: A case of 'reinventing the wheel'?

S Coghlan, J Waycott, BB Neves, F Vetere

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) | Published : 2018


© 2018 Association for Computing Machinery. Robot pets are being developed and deployed to provide companionship for older adults. While robot pets offer some therapeutic benefits, their intended use for 'companionship' often provokes ethical debate, including concern that interactions with robot pets are demeaning or lack value compared to other social interactions. Another concern is that robot pets provide no real advantages over companion animals. This conceptual paper draws on philosophy, human-animal bond research, and technology development in robotics, to consider whether robot pets provide new opportunities for companionship as opposed to just 'reinventing the wheel'. We argue that ..

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