Towards Social-Therapeutic Robots: How to Strategically Implement a Robot for Social Group Therapy? Conference Paper uri icon


  • One of the most innovative applications of robotics is creating artificial social relationships between humans and robots in order to promote healthier and more active lifestyles as a means of long-term, sustainable healthcare solutions. This paper describes a theoretical framework to strategically and effectively implement a sociable robot in a healthcare or elderly care facility. Based on the innovation diffusion theory and the agent-based modeling (ABM) technique, a diffusion model of social interactions between a robot and multiple individuals is proposed. This model links the diffusion of human-robot social interactions (HRSI) to the social characteristics of the first adopters and their subsequent influence on the rest of the social network. Therefore, in our view, determination of innovators in a social group can play an important role in planning robot-assisted social therapy. To identify the innovators in a given social group, an information-theoretic approach based on entropy computation is presented. In addition, a post-experimental analysis method for assessing the effect of the robot in promoting social interactions among group members is proposed based on the entropy reduction due to the social network changes.

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, K., Kaloutsakis, G., & Couch, J.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • December 2009