A Community-Centered Design Framework for Robot-Assisted Feeding Systems

T. Bhattacharjee, M. E. Cabrera, A. Caspi, M. Cakmak, and S. S. Srinivasa, “A Community-Centered Design Framework for Robot-Assisted Feeding Systems,” in International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, New York, NY, USA, 2019, pp. 482–494, doi: 10.1145/3308561.3353803.


Robot-assisted feeding (RAF) systems offer enormous potential benefits to community-centered care-giving environments. However, developers of RAF technologies often focus on evaluating their standard transactional functionality, omitting the impact of such technologies in contexts that extend past the interaction of the robot and food receiver. RAF technologies have complex social, cultural and self-identity implications, since a "meal" extends well beyond the simple provisioning of nourishment. To better understand these implications we conducted a contextual inquiry in an assisted-living community with five potential care recipients and five caregivers, as well as interviews with fifteen domain experts including occupational therapists and feeding specialists. Based on our findings from these studies, we developed a new framework for RAF technologies that formulates this vital task as a community-centered relational service. We then use this framework to qualitatively and quantitatively assess three existing feeding systems and identify areas of improvement. Our work reveals new insights about stakeholders of RAF technologies and provides a roadmap for technology developers to better serve the needs of these stakeholders.

BibTeX Entry

  title = {A Community-Centered Design Framework for Robot-Assisted Feeding Systems},
  author = {Bhattacharjee, Tapomayukh and Cabrera, Maria E. and Caspi, Anat and Cakmak, Maya and Srinivasa, Siddhartha S.},
  year = {2019},
  booktitle = {International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility},
  location = {Pittsburgh, PA, USA},
  publisher = {ACM},
  address = {New York, NY, USA},
  series = {ASSETS '19},
  pages = {482--494},
  doi = {10.1145/3308561.3353803},
  isbn = {978-1-4503-6676-2},
  url = {https://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3308561.3353803},
  type = {conference},
  numpages = {13},
  acmid = {3353803},
  keywords = {assistive feeding, assistive robotics}