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
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


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.