Reminding is often identified as a central function of socially assistive robots in the healthcare sector. The robotic reminders are supposed to help people with memory impairments to remember to take their medicine, to drink and eat, or to attend appointments. Such standalone reminding technologies can, however, be too demanding for people with memory injuries. In a co-creation process, we developed an individual reminder robot together with a person with traumatic brain injury and her care personnel. During this process, we learned that while current research describe reminding as a prototypical task for socially assistive robots, there is no clear definition of what constitutes a reminder nor that it is based on complex sequences of interactions that evolve over time and space, across different actions, actors and technologies. Based on our data from the co-creation process and the first deployment, we argue for a shift towards a sequential and socially distributed character of reminding. Understanding socially assistive robots as rehabilitative tools for people with memory impairment, they need to be reconsidered as interconnected elements in institutional care practices instead of isolated events for the remindee.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1369438
JournalFrontiers in Robotics and AI
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 Rehm and Krummheuer.


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Human Robot Interaction
  • Practice
  • Reminder
  • Social Robots
  • practice
  • reminder
  • social robots
  • cognitive impairment
  • human robot interaction


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