• Marcus Helsberg Lausen
  • Emil Buch Jacobsen
4. term, Techno-Anthropology, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis researches how the Danish welfare technology assessment model, ‘VelfærdsTeknologiVurdering’ (VTV), is brought to Japan. Our analysis is based on fieldwork in Japan, where we collaborated with the persons involved in the transformation of the VTV, which they have renamed, ‘Assistive Technology Assessment Tool’ (ATAT). The aim of our research has been to understand how the VTV is perceived when it is brought from a Danish to a Japanese context, and what kind of value and challenges it approaches in relation to developing and introducing care robots. Our methodology for studying this has been based on qualitative interviews, combined with participatory observations and workshops to understand stakeholders’ perceptions on the ATAT. Additionally, we have also got involved ourselves by trying to apply the ATAT on two communication robots, OriHime by OryLab and Palro by Fujisoft. With approaches from STS and ‘situational analysis’ (Clarke 2005), we find that the relevancy of the ATAT is perceived in the light of how the development and implementation of care robots are entangled in political strategies. The ATAT is seen as relevant, as the effects of the robots are too complex to be assessed by measuring delimited and predictable outcomes. By using the term ‘boundary object’ (Griesemer & Leigh Star 1989), we find that it can be challenging for the ATAT to function as a tool allowing many divergent perspectives to present their experiences to each other, and that flexibility is necessary. We experienced that the term ‘assessment’ can reduce the flexibility of the model, as it is linked to the conception of measuring predictable effects and assure quality. We argue that the model does not contain the answers in itself and still needs further adjustments. But the ATAT might be able to force decision-makers to relate more to implicated stakeholders and complications when implementing new technology in the care sector.
Publication date6 Jun 2019
Number of pages87
ID: 305261656