Population ageing – a shift in the distribution of a country’s population towards older ages – represents one of the great global challenges of the 21st century. As a consequence “socially assistive robotics” have been incorporated into new models of care to meet rising expectations regarding aged wellbeing, as well as contain escalating costs of care provision. This project will explore how robotic technologies support elderly people in the development of autonomous social relationships and of associated social benefits and risks. The project will analyze how socially assistive robotics are being developed and deployed in care settings in Japan and Australia. It will identify the social and cultural factors that shape how people in Japan and Australia interact with socially assistive robotics. The project will advance understanding of how socially assistive robotics provide older citizens with novel ways of participating in social life, underpinning new care values relating to effective and low-cost service provision.
The ARC Robotic Futures Research Team has responded to the Australian Federal Government’s Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources’s Inquiry into the social issues relating to land-based driverless vehicles in Australia. The submission lodged to the Inquiry by the ARC Robotics Futures Research Team was accepted and has been posted online for public access.