We would like to invite you for the 1st Webinar on Companion Robots sponsored by the MARIO EU Project (http://mario-project.eu/). Details are provided below:

Title: What do you think people with dementia want from companion robots? Sharing findings from the MARIO Project

Date: October 25th, 2016
Time: 10:30 - 11:30 CET - Central European Time


Prof. Kathleen Murphy & Prof. Dympna Casey
School of Nursing & Midwifery
NUI Galway, Ireland
Youtube Live Link:



By 2050, 16% of the world’s population will be over 65. It is older people who are at greatest risk of dementia and the older you are the higher the risk, so by the time we reach 85, a third of us will have dementia. Every minute 20 new people, somewhere in the world, are told that they have dementia.

We know that loneliness is a problem for many older people with dementia, people with dementia report that  dementia  affects  their  confidence  to  engage  in social activities, leaving them lonely and isolated. The impact therefore is life limiting and places significant burden on individuals and societal support systems. We have seen in our work in health care how loneliness impacts on peoples lives, remaining social matters because the lack of interaction will impact on the rate of decline of dementia.

We are currently developing a companion robot  in the MARIO project to work with people with dementia,  what would you want a companion robot to do for you if you had dementia? The reality is that technology is often developed to advance the state of the art, but this sometimes does this meet user needs. Often the technology fails to focus on the issues of important to people with dementia. The MARIO project is user led project with people with dementia involved in all phases .  Dominated and guided by a user perspective this project  MARIO will advance the EU’s scientific and market leadership in service robots.

This webinar is designed to share with you what people with dementia want from a companion robot.  We interviewed people with dementia and asked what they would like Mario Kompai to do for them to reduce their loneliness and isolation and help them live well with dementia. We ran 3 focus groups with 22 people with dementia and we will share what they felt about having a companion robots and what they want the robot to do for them.


Talk: 30 minutes
Q&A: 20 minutes


Professor  Dympna Casey (RGN, BA, MA, Phd) has a clinical background in care of older people. She has worked in several different cultures including Australia, Sudan, Kosovo and Angola. For the past 20 years she has worked in nursing education in the National University of Ireland Galway.  She teaches across a range of programmes and supervises students at Masters and PhD level.  Her research interests include care of older people, dementia, self-management of chronic diseases and health promotion. She has a keen interest in promoting healthier lifestyles for older people and in examining ways of supporting and maintaining the health and functional capacity of older people. She has specific expertise in case studies, surveys, mixed methods and qualitative research methodologies.  Her research skills also include designing and developing interventions for RCT’s and ensuring that such interventions are informed by users and other key stakeholders.  She also has specific expertise in nonparticipant observation and conducting interviews with people with dementia. She has extensive experience in leading collaborative interdisciplinary and inter institutional research projects at local and national level . She is currently leading an EU Funded Horizon 2020 project entitled MARIO (Managing Active & Health Aging with the use of caring service robotics) within the thematic section ‘Societal Challenge on Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’.She is College Vice Dean for Interprofessional Learning.

Professor Kathleen Murphy (RGN, BA, RNT, DIPN, MSc, PhD) has worked in clinical nursing at sister level in ED and Older People services. She has worked in the University Sector for the last 25 years, as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Deputy Head, Head and Professor. Additionally Professor Murphy has taught at undergraduate and post-graduate level and supervised research and PhD students, mostly in nursing and midwifery and has been involved in programmes with other health care disciplines. She has held positions in the UK and Ireland. Her research interests are in older people, dementia and chronic diseases. More recently she has focused on dementia and resilience.

Companion Robots Webinars:

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