MARIO is a companion robot that aims to help people with dementia (PWD) to battle isolation and loneliness by enabling them to stay socially active by providing a number of applications focused on hobbies (music, movies, etc), staying engaged with communities (reading headlines, reading local twitter feeds etc.) and staying connected with family and friends (telephoning them, reading their news from twitter, etc.). This paper presents the results from the initial trials of MARIO interacting with PWD involving a limited set of applications. It confirms some of the challenges hypothesized at the outset of the study and provides guidelines for future development work.
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