Emotional Robots

Evaluation of an emotional robot

Period: 2021 (January – June)

Source of funding: Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation

Team:  Principal investigator: Mireia FernándezArdèvol (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Researcher: Andrea Rosales (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Research assistant: Rebeca Oliván (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Description Our goal is to assess the meaning attached to an Emotional Robot, Misty, that is currently tested in the homes of selected older people living alone. Our approach is qualitative and gives voice to the participants who share their lives with this companion robot at home for 8 weeks. We seek to understand (a) the perceptions and opinions about the emotional robot, (b) the forms of appropriation (or “domestication”), and (c) the place the robot is given at home.

Misty is being tested as part of the project SOMCARE, developed by Grup Saltó, the MWCapital Foundation and the Barcelona City Council together with the Institute of Robotics for Dependency and the I2CAT Foundation. It received one of the two  5G Challenge Prizes 2020, awarded by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation and the City Council of Barcelona. Associated with SOMCARE, we develop the project “Evaluation of an Emotional Robot.”


The project “Evaluation of an Emotional Robot” contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda:

SD5 10. Reduce inequality in and between countries, as a conceptual framework will be used that explicitly seeks to tackle stereotypes and ageist decisions that generally invisible to society, discriminate against the elderly particularly in the digital world.

SDS 9. Build resilient infrastructures, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and promote innovation, as the assessment seeks to provide useful information for the different local agents involved in the innovative process associated with emotional robots.

SDS 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, as the gender dimension affecting the digital divide in the case of the elderly will be taken into account.