Accepted Paper:

Social robots in hospitals: extending care visions  


Guillem Palà (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Cecilio Angulo (Technical University of Catalonia (UPC))
Alex Barco (La Salle - Universitat Ramon Llull)
Miguel Garcia Fernandez (Saint John of God Hospital)

Paper short abstract:

The inclusion of social robots in hospitals opens new care meanings, extending it from human-centred visions to material related ones. A multidisciplinary group will be joined not only for defending their own vision of that switch but to weave hybrid argumentations.

Paper long abstract:

The question concerning care meaning is not new. Nevertheless, strongly influenced by feminist perspectives, several approaches have been carried out recently inside STS that try to overflow a human-centred vision of care. One of the most interesting contributions of such approaches has been to focus on the materiality of care. That is, the exploration of how human and non-human actors become assembled to allow concrete care practices. Leaving aside classical dichotomizing categories to classify care, those analyses make a symmetrical account of it based on alternative issues such as fragility or maintenance. In that vein, the inclusion of social robots in a hospital context appears as a triggering case to develop a reflection on innovative care assemblages and processes. Moreover, it allows the emergence of deep discussions concerning the role of technologies as agents of care. We are going to show at this presentation how the notion of care, with the inclusion of social robots, is being extended from different understandings. A multidisciplinary group will be joined not only for defending their own vision on the issue but to weave some hybrid argumentations on how care considerations have been switched and extended.

Panel T156
Doing Social Robots by Other Means