Embodied Conversational Interfaces for the Elderly User

Mehrotra S., Motti V. G. , Frijns H., Akkoc T., Yengec S. B. , Calik O., ...More

8th Indian Conference on Human Computer Interaction (India HCI), Mumbai, India, 7 - 09 December 2016, pp.90-95 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1145/3014362.3014372
  • City: Mumbai
  • Country: India
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-95


This paper describes the design and development of an embodied conversational agent (ECA) that provides a social interface for older adults. Following a user centred design approach, we implemented a multimodal agent consisting of a virtual character and a robot. This so-called "bi-bodied conversational agent for elderly" was iteratively refined and developed through participatory design and rapid prototyping in 3 consecutive focus groups with a total of 21 elderly users. In addition to the two bodies, a Wizard-of-Oz control panel was developed, enabling researchers to control both bodies so as to respond to the user's instructions, questions, and remarks. The research resulted in a platform that can be used for future research on elderly-robot and elderly-avatar interaction. In addition, the research resulted in insights about elderly users' preferences regarding the appearance and design of a virtual and a robotic ECA (Embodied Conversational Agent), described in results that can be reused in future experiments involving ECA for elderly users.