Socially Assistive Robots to Enhance Magnification Device Use for Reading
The aims of this exploratory research project are to customize, deploy and evaluate the preliminary efficacy of a socially assistive robot as a novel approach to motivate and encourage optimal, long-term use of new magnification devices for reading in individuals with vision loss. The goals are to promote patient acceptance, adherence and skills reinforcement to achieve proficiency in the use of the magnifier, in order to attempt to reduce visual disability while performing important daily activities, such as reading tasks. This is a high priority given the increasing prevalence of low vision, paucity of low vision rehabilitation providers, and barriers related to access to care, such as transportation and geography, all of which motivate the development of this complementary approach for the provision of additional support at home by the socially assistive robot.
- Individuals with any level of vision loss due to any ocular disease,
- age 18 and older,
- received a magnification device(s) (i.e., hand-held optical magnifiers, portable electronic video magnifiers, some stand magnifiers and CCTVs) from the UCLA Vision Rehabilitation Center.
- schedules not permitting participation in planned study sessions or visits (including planning to move or take extended vacation during study period),
- inability to understand study procedures or communicate responses to visual stimuli in a consistent manner (cognitive impairment as per TICS),
- substance abuse,
- significant hearing loss (unable to hear communication by phone or from robot),
- significant medical condition likely to limit participation or lifespan,
- their magnifier device has features that would not work in conjunction with the beacon sensors: (1) hands-free and do not have a place where the patient's hand is holding the device during use (therefore, they would not register a significant change in temperature), and/or (2) no surface area of at least 1"x1" to which the beacon sensor could be attached without interfering with the device.