ExCITE Project: A Review of Forty-Two Months of Robotic Telepresence Technology Evolution
Most robotic systems are usually used and evaluated in laboratory setting for a limited period of time. The limitation of lab evaluation is that it does not take into account the different challenges imposed by the fielding of robotic solutions into real contexts. Our current work evaluates a robotic telepresence platform to be used with elderly people. This paper describes our effort toward a comprehensive, ecological and longitudinal evaluation of such robots. Specifically, the paper highlights open points related to the transition from laboratory to real world settings. It first discusses some results from a short term evaluation performed in Italy, obtained by interviewing 44 healthcare workers as possible clients (people connecting to the robot) and 10 older adults as possible end users (people receiving visits through the robot). It then describes a complete evaluation plan designed for a long term assessment also dwelling on the initial application of such methodology to test sites, finally it introduces some technical features that could enable a more robust real world deployment.