E. Broadbent, N. Kerse, B. MacDonald, H.S Ahn


■ Detection of falls

■ Medication management

■ Mental health and cognition

■ Quality of life and health assessments


■ Attitudes towards robots

■ Appearance and task preferences

■ Emotional reactions

Development of robotics for mood stabilization

and cognitive improvement

in patients with mild cognitive impairment & dementia

Our University of Auckland team led by Professor Bruce Macdonald, and associate investigators Ho Seok Ahn, Elizabeth Broadbent, Ngaire Kerse and Kathy Peri, have been working with our partners Ewha Womens University, Robocare, POSTECH, Sungkyunkwan University, GIST and WEDU Communications on a four-year, multi-phase and international project is to develop and evaluate robotics for mood stabilisation and cognitive improvement in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild dementia (MD). This includes (1) developing a daily-care service robot that may be used by individuals with mild cognitive impairment, in their own homes and (2) developing a cognitive games robot that delivers engaging games that help to improve cognition. Results from the past four years demonstrate the potential value and usefulness of the daily-care and cognitive games robots for older adults with MCI or MD.

Elizabeth Broadbent led studies the acceptance of form and behavior of robots by humans, as well as stress and expectations. Acceptance is a function of age, gender and role of the robot while stress is a function of pre-determined perception of robots compared to actual perception of robots. Studies are done also to find both patient and caregiver expectations and desires of robots.


Radio NZ segment ‘Robot Faces’.  Available here:


Darragh, M., Ahn, H., MacDonald, B., Liang, A., Peri, K., Kerse, N., and Broadbent, E. 2017. Homecare Robots to Improve Health and Well-Being in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early Stage Dementia: Results From a Scoping Study. Journal for the American Medical Directors Association. Article in press (online Sept 2017).