The following is a summary of the “Usability and feasibility validation of the social robot MINI in people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment; a study protocol” published in the December 2022 issue of Psychiatry by Asl et al.

Individuals with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may benefit from interaction with social robots since these robots have been shown to improve patients’ quality of life in social settings. Usability and feasibility studies are essential prior to installing prototype social robots and confirming their usefulness and effectamework. To that end, this protocol paper will lay out the steps that will be taken to test the MINI robot’s usability and practicality using the best practices that have been shown to work in similar situations.

 An experimental methodology and a combination of methods will be used to collect data for this investigation. Researchers plan to recruit 20 people, all 65 and older, who have dementia or mild cognitive impairment. Researchers will complete 8 sessions of robot contact and conduct both qualitative and quantitative evaluations. All of this investigation will be conducted in a controlled laboratory setting. In other words, researchers have the necessary ethical clearances.

This study contributes to the growing body of empirical evidence in the field of social robotics and will aid in the refinement and eventual deployment of the MINI robot. Dissemination of this study’s findings is anticipated to be possible by the upcoming cold season (2022–2023). Researchers hope that by examining how people with dementia and MCI interact with social robots, they can better inform future research on the feasibility and utility of these devices.