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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 608191, 12 pages
Research Article

Development of Assistive Robots Using International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health: Concept, Applications, and Issues

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan

Received 20 August 2013; Accepted 17 October 2013

Academic Editor: Shigeyuki Suzuki

Copyright © 2013 Hideyuki Tanaka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many assistive robots for elderly and disabled people have been developed in the past few decades. However, very few of them became commercially available. The major cause of the problem is that the cost-benefit ratio and the risk-benefit ratio of them are not good or not known. The evaluation of them should be done in the light of the impacts of assistive technologies on users’ whole life, both in short-term and long-term. In this paper, we propose a framework of evaluation and design of assistive robots using ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health). The goal of the framework is the realization of the life design and the improvement of the quality of life using assistive technologies. We describe the concept of utilizing ICF in the development process of assistive robots, and demonstrate its utility by using some examples of practical application such as the analysis of daily living, the design of assistive robots and the evaluation of assistive robots. We also show the issues of using ICF for further development of the framework.