Work by Bruce MacDonald, Elizabeth Broadbent, Ngaire Kerse, Kathy Peri, Catherine Watson, Ho Seok Ahn


Vital Signs and Situational, Domestic Safety and Security


Memory Assistance, Social (Email and Phone)


Detect falls

The Healthbots project is a large scale project with around 22 researchers working on various aspects of the healthbot platform.

The robots are from Yujin Robot (South Korea), while the University of Auckland (New Zealand) and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (South Korea) integrated components and developed software to support healthcare systems for monitoring health status (and potentially safety in the environment), assistance (such as reminding to take medication) and detecting possible falls. Field trials were carried out in New Zealand to determine the acceptability and effectiveness of the robot system (Charlie and iRobi). Currently the technology is undergoing additional field trials in realistic environments and commercialization.

Journal publications:

  1. MacDonald, B. (2016). Benefits and problems of health-care robots in aged care settings: A comparison trial. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 35, 23-29.
  2. Peri, K., Kerse, N., Broadbent, E., Jayawardena, C., Kuo, T., Datta, C., Stafford, R., Butler, H., Jawalker, P., Amor, M., Robins, B., & MacDonald, B. (2016). Lounging with robots – social spaces of residents in care: A comparison trial. Australasian Journal on Ageing35, E1-6.
  3. Jayawardena, C., Kuo I-H, Broadbent, E., & MacDonald, B. (2016). Socially assistive robot Healthbot:Design, implementation and field trials. IEEE Systems Journal, 99, 1-12.
  4. Mann, J.A., MacDonald, B.A., Kuo, I., Li, X., Broadbent, E. (2015). People respond better to robots than computer tablets delivering healthcare instructions. Computers in Human Behavior, 43, 112-117.doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.10.029
  5. Robinson, H., MacDonald, B., Broadbent, E. (2014) The role of healthcare robots for older people at home: a review International Journal of Social Robotics, 6, 575-59
  6. Stafford, R. Q., MacDonald, B. A., Li, X., & Broadbent, E. (2014). Older people’s prior robot attitudes influence evaluations of a conversational robot. International Journal of Social Robotics6, 281-29
  7. Broadbent, E., Tamagawa, R., Patience, A., Knock, B., Kerse, N., Day, K., & Macdonald, B.A. (2012). Attitudes towards health-care robots in a retirement village. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 31, 115-120.
  8. Broadbent, E., Lee, Y., Stafford, R., Kuo, I., & MacDonald, B.A. (2011). Mental schemas of robots as more human-like are associated with higher blood pressure and negative emotions in a human-robot interaction. International Journal of Social Robotics2011 (3), p291-297,
  9. Kuo, I., Jayawardena, C., Broadbent, E., & MacDonald, B.A. (2011). Multidisciplinary Design Approach for Implementation of Interactive Services. Communication Initiation and User Identification for Healthcare Service Robots. International Journal of Social Robotics3 (4), p443-456,
  10. Tamagawa, R., Watson, C.I., Kuo, H., MacDonald, B.A., & Broadbent, E. (2011). The Effects of Synthesized Voice Accents on User Perceptionsof Robots. International Journal of Social Robotics2011 (3), p253-262,
  11. Broadbent, E., Kuo, I., Lee, Y.I., Rabindran, J., Kerse, N., Stafford, R., & MacDonald, B. (2010). Attitudes and reactions to a healthcare robot. Telemedicine and e-Health, 16, 608-613
  12. Broadbent, E., Stafford, R., & MacDonald, B. (2009). Acceptance of healthcare robots for the older population: Review and future directions. International Journal of Social Robotics, 1, 319-330.

Conference publications:

  1. Ahn, H. S., Datta, C., Kuo, I. H., Stafford, R. Q., Kerse, N., Peri, K., . . . MacDonald, B. A. (2015). Entertainment services of a healthcare robot system for older people in private and public spaces. ICARA, Automation, Robotics and Applications (pp. 217-222.).
  2. Orejana, J., MacDonald, B., Ahn, H.S., Peri,K., & Broadbent, E. (2015). Healthcare Orejana JR, MacDonald BA, Ahn HS, Peri K, Broadbent E. 2015. Healthcare robots in homes of rural olderadults. In Social Robotics, ed. ATapus, E Andre, JMartin, F Ferland,MAmmi, pp. 512–52. Berlin: Springer.
  3. Broadbent, E., Orejana, J., Ahn, H.S., Xie, J., Rouse, P., & MacDonald, B.A. (Sept, 2015). The cost-effectiveness of a robot measuring vital signs in a rural medical practice. RO-MAN, Kobe, Japan. IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication.
  4. Broadbent, E., Peri, K., Kerse, N., Jayawardena, C., Kuo, I, Datta, C., MacDonald, B. (2014). Robots in older people’s homes to improve medication adherence and quality of life: A randomised cross-over trial. In M. Beetz et al. (Eds.): ICSR 2014, LNAI 8755, pp. 64–73, 2014.
  5. Datta, C., Yang, H. Y., Kuo, I. H., Broadbent, E., & MacDonald, B. A. (2013, November). Software platform design for personal service robots in healthcare. In Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics (RAM), 2013 6th IEEE Conference on (pp. 156-161). IEEE.
  6. Datta, C., Tiwari, P., Yang, H.Y., Kuo, I., Broadbent, E and MacDonald, B. (2012). An interactive robot for reminding medication to older people. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient Intelligence (URAI 2012), Deajeon, Republic of Korea.
  7. Datta C, Tiwari P, Hong Yul Y, Broadbent E, MacDonald BA. (2012) Utilizing a closed loop medication management workflow through an engaging interactive robot for older people. Paper presented at: e-Health Networking, Applications and Services (Healthcom), 2012 IEEE 14th International Conference on; 10-13 Oct. 2012. Pp. 313-316.
  8. Jayawardena, C., Kuo, I., Datta, C., Stafford, R. Q., Broadbent, E., & MacDonald, B. A. (2012, 24-27 June 2012). Design, implementation and field tests of a socially assistive robot for the elderly: HealthBot version 2. Paper presented at the Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), 2012 4th IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference, Rome, Italy. Pp. 1837-1842
  9. Stafford RQ, MacDonald BA, Broadbent E (2012) Identifying specific reasons behind unmet needs may inform more specific eldercare robot design. Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Social Robotics. Chengdu, China: Springer-Verlag. pp. 148-157.
  10. Kuo I-H, Jayawardena C, Broadbent E, Stafford RQ, MacDonald BA (2012) HRI evaluation of a healthcare service robot. Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Social Robotics. Chengdu, China: Springer-Verlag. pp. 178-187
  11. Broadbent, E., Jayawardena, C., Kerse, N., Stafford, R.Q., and MacDonald, B.A. (2011).Human-robot interaction research to improve quality of life in elder care: an approach and issues. AAAI-11 Workshop  onHuman-Robot  Interaction  in  Elder  Care. San Francisco. pp. 13-19.
  12. Kuo, I., Jayawardena, C., Tiwari, P., Broadbent, E., & MacDonald, B.(2010) User Identification for Healthcare Service Robots: Multidisciplinary Design for Implementation of Interactive Services. In S. Ge, H. Li, J.-J. Cabibihan & Y. Tan (Eds.), Social Robotics (Vol. 6414, pp. 20-29): Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.
  13. Stafford, R., Broadbent, E., Jayawardena, C., Unger, U., Kuo, I.H., Igic, A., Wong, R., Kerse, N., Watson, C., & MacDonald, B.A.  (2010) Improved robot attitudes and emotions at a retirement home after meeting a robot. Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE
  14. Jayawardena,C, Kuo, I H., Unger,U., Igic, A., Wong,R., Watson,C.I., Stafford, R.Q., Broadbent,E., Tiwari,P., Warren,J., MacDonald,B., & Sohn, J. (2010). Deployment of a Service Robot to Help Older People 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. pp. 5990-5995.
  15. Igic, A, Watson, C.I, Teutenberg, J., Tamagawa, R., Macdonald, B., & Broadbent, E. (2009). Towards a flexible platform for voice accent and expression selection on a Healthcare Robot” In Eds Pizzato, L.A, and Schwitter, R.,:The Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Language Technology Workshop (Vol 7) , Sydney, 3th -4th Dec, p. 109-113. ISSN 1834-7037.
  16. Kuo, I. H., Rabindran, J. M., Broadbent, E., Lee, Y. I., Kerse, N., Stafford R. M. Q. & MacDonald, B. A. (2009). Age and gender factors in user acceptance of healthcare robots. Proceedings 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Toyama, Japan, 27 September – 2 October, p. 214-219.
  17. Broadbent, E., Tamagawa, R., Kerse, N., Knock, B., Patience, a., & MacDonald, B. (2009) Retirement home staff and residents’ preferences for healthcare robots. Proceedings 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Toyama, Japan, 27 September – 2 October, p. 645-650.
  18. McDonald, B.A.,  Abdulla, W.H.,  Broadbent, E.,  Connolly, M.J. and 5 others (2008). Robot assistant for care of older people’, URAI 2008Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient IntelligenceSeoul, South KoreaNovember 20-22, 2008.
  19. Kuo, I.,  Broadbent, E.,  Macdonald, B.A.  (2008). Designing a robotic assistant for healthcare applications’, HINZ 2008Proceedings of the Health Informatics New Zealand ConferenceRotorua, New ZealandOctober, 2008.