Overtrust of pediatric health-care robots: A preliminary survey of parent perspectives

Jason Borenstein, Alan Richard Wagner, Ayanna Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Numerous types of robots are being interwoven into the health-care system, including rehabilitative devices for use with pediatric populations. Yet a key ethical concern is that pediatric patients, their parents, and other caregivers might begin to overtrust robotic technology, possibly resulting in a patient being harmed or the technology adopted prematurely. To gain insight into the issue, our research team conducted a study examining the potential of overtrust in pediatric robotics. This article discusses results from a survey of parents who have at least one child with a movement disability. The survey's focus is on robotic exoskeletons, which represent the most viable of the currently available robotic technologies in terms of being adopted into the home as a clinically validated rehabilitative device for both adults and children. More than 62% of respondents indicated they would typically or completely trust their child to handle risky situations with an exoskeleton, even though the technology may not be designed for such situations. We conclude with suggestions for future research directions on the problem of overtrust in health-care robotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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