CARESSES is an international, multidisciplinary project whose goal is to design the first robots that can assist older people and adapt to the culture of the individual they are taking care of.

The robots will help the users in many ways including reminding them to take their medication, encouraging them to keep active, helping them keep in touch with family and friends. Each action will be performed with attention to the older person’s customs, cultural practices and individual preferences.

CARESSES is funded by the European Commission and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. The project started on the 1st January 2017.

Why culturally competent robots?

Robots that can respond to older people’s needs in a sensitive and culturally appropriate way are more likely to be trusted and accepted. This is of global importance as ageing populations across the world demand more health and social care resources. Culturally competent robots can relieve the pressures on caregivers in hospitals and care homes. Selected publications about Caresses can be found in the PUBLICATIONS page of this website. For more information about the RCTSH’s work on this project as well as mass/social media and other events and videos, visit the CARESSES WEBSITE.

Anthropology, AI and the future of human society

Watch the video recording of the roundtable organised by Professor Papadopoulos and Dr Lazzarino for the 2022 Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) conference titled "Anthropology, AI and the future of human society". Our round table was titled "AI in holistic care and healing practices: the caring encounter beyond COVID-19"

Transcultural Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Health and Social Care

Presents user-friendly knowledge on socially assistive humanoid AI robots for health and social care


  • Presents user-friendly and stage-by-stage information to help readers appreciate how AI and robots work and how they can be integrated in their work environments
  • Explains why AI and socially assistive robotics need to be culturally competent
  • Helps reduce readers’ fears and change negative prejudices they may have about robots as a relevant tool for health and social care
  • Written by experts in AI robotics and the creators of transcultural health/social robotics
  • Informed by the largest trial conducted with real patients


Transcultural Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Health and Social Care provides health and social care professionals with a deeper understanding of the incredible opportunities brought by the emerging field of AI robotics. In addition, it provides robotic researchers with the point-of-view of healthcare professionals to understand what the health and social care sector – as well as the market – really needs from robotics technology. By doing so, the book fills an important gap between both fields in order to leverage new developments and collaborative work in favor of global patients.
The book is aimed at the non-technical reader, especially health and social care professionals, and explains in a simple way the technological principles applied in the development of socially assistive humanoid robots (SAHR), the values which guide such developments, the ethics related to them, and research approaches in the field, with a focus on achieving a culturally competent SAHR.