Team: Xian Wu, Rebecca Thomas, Emma Drobina, Tracy Mitzner, Dr. Jenay Beer

Abstract: For older adults with mobility impairment, maintaining health and wellness while aging-in-place independently is crucial. [1]
Telepresence technology, such as Kubi, can be potentially
beneficial for this target population to stay socially connected.
However, the Kubi robot is not specifically designed for older
adults with mobility impairment. For this target population to
adopt the technology successfully, it is important to ensure that
they would not experience usability barriers. Thus, we conducted
usability testing of Kubi with five older adults with self-reported
mobility impairment. The findings indicated both hardware and
GUI problematic issues for this population. Hardware problems
were primarily related to the base. GUI usability issues were
caused by system visibility and control of the robot. These
findings provide direction for improving the usability of
telepresence robots, particularly for adults aging with mobility

During this research project, each older adult served as both the pilot user (i.e. the user controlling the robot) and the local user (i.e. the person interacting with the robot). I was the person on the other end of the telepresence system. When the older adults controlled the robot, I was the person they called; when they interacted with the robot, I was the one controlling the robot. I also collected and compiled surveys completed by the older adults so that data analysis could be performed. Finally, I collected quotes from the participants for use in our paper.

From this experience, I learned how to conduct user studies. I built my knowledge of how to interact with participants and collect qualitative data. I also learned how to compile and analyze qualitative data from surveys and recordings.

[1] Wu, X., Thomas, R., Drobina, E., Mitzner, T., & Beer, J. (2017). An evaluation of a telepresence robot: User testing among older adults with mobility impairment. In B. Mutlu, M. Tscheligi, A. Weiss, & J. E. Young
(Eds.), Proceedings of the Companion of the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 325-326). New York, USA: Association of Computing Machinery.

[2] Dailey, D. (2015). grandPad Partners with Revolve Robotics to Deliver Remote Care for Seniors. Mobile Health Times. Retrieved from