Researcher ORCID Identifier
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Science, Technology and Society
© 2023 Lucy A Conover
Robots are everywhere from car factories to cafes, but many people may not realize robots are quite popular in assisted living residencies for older adults. Social eldercare robots (SER) provide care to older adults without relying on human labor, offering a lucrative promise of technological efficiency during global labor crises. However, their adaptation into care settings is not this simple. Human trust in robots is rooted in nuanced social, cultural, and historical factors, making SER a highly interpretively flexible technology. This thesis analyzes social eldercare robot implementation in two countries, Germany and Japan, using a "Science, Technology and Society" (STS) framework. By investigating how service animals, perception of migrant labor, and religious factors impact social eldercare robot use, I argue acceptance of SER is highly bound to local beliefs about caretaking, spirituality, and what it truly means to be alive.
Conover, Lucy, "Machines with Heart: Utilizing an STS Framework to Analyze Implementation and Design of Social Eldercare Robots in Germany and Japan" (2023). Pitzer Senior Theses. 177.