Human-Robot Interaction With Animal Robot PARO For Patients With Depression

Zulkifli, Muhammad Winal Zikril (2019) Human-Robot Interaction With Animal Robot PARO For Patients With Depression. Masters thesis, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

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Researchers in the field of human-robot interaction (HRI) have developed many types of robots to interact with humans. Mental healthcare with the aid of robots is one of the branches in HRI studies. Presently, animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has been commonly used to give positive mental impact to patients in term of psychological, physiological and social. However, the use of animals exposes patients to zoonotic infection, bites and scratches. HRI studies have covered the role of animal robots for people affected with mental illness. World Health Organization (WHO) has classified depression as a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected. Depression is a serious mental illness. If left untreated, it could even lead to suicide. Animal robot PARO is classified as a Class II medical device by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). PARO has potential as an assistive device to treat depression. Previously, PARO is successful to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer. The aim of this study is to introduce PARO as a short-term companion to help patients manage depression during rehabilitation period at a multidisciplinary centre. PARO was used as an assistive device in the therapy for rehabilitation patients with post-stroke depression. This group was chosen because they have the highest rate of depression (30-35%) compared to other types of disabilities. Though animal robot therapy is on the rise, but in Malaysia, the awareness is still low. Thus, the first objective of this study is to investigate the perception of Malaysians towards PARO. Survey method was used to 112 public respondents and 12 rehabilitation patients. Survey results show that 91-96% of respondent were able to accept animal robot PARO during their first encounter with the robot. An interaction protocol for human-robot interaction was designed to enable PARO to be used as an assisted device. The interaction protocol was model based on literature review, discussion with experts and the study result on the robot perception. To evaluate the effect of human-robot interaction, an experiment was conducted at SOCSO Tun Razak Rehabilitation Centre (TRRC), Melaka using the experimental method. Patients were assessed using psychological tools in term of depression, anxiety and sleep quality. From the results, the depression reduced by 35%, where the severity level improved to normal level of depression. The third objective of this study is to develop HRI assessment tool using OpenCV-Python for smile detection. This is to further investigate the outcome of HRI between patients and PARO. By using Haar cascade classifier method, the pre-processing program was able to clean the dataset and improve the accuracy to 8-12%. Both psychological and HRI tools show congruency (P < 0.001) on the experimental results involving one patient for a pilot experiment and six patients for primary experiment. After interacting with PARO for three sessions within one month, the patients show positive results. Most of the patients show an increase in the number of smiles by 42% and recovery from depression and anxiety. This study proves that HRI using an animal robot can help patients by reducing their stress level through a facilitated therapy session.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human-robot interaction, Robotics, Human factors, Human-machine systems, Animal Robot PARO
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Library > Tesis > FKP
Depositing User: F Haslinda Harun
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2021 12:06
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