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Designing an experimental and a reference robot to test and evaluate the impact of cultural competence in socially assistive roboticsRecchiuto, Carmine Tommaso; Papadopoulos, Chris; Hill, Tetiana; Castro, Nina; Bruno, Barbara; Papadopoulos, Irena; Sgorbissa, Antonio; University of Genova; University of Bedfordshire; Advinia Healthcare; et al. (IEEE, 2020-01-13)The article focusses on the work performed in preparation for an experimental trial aimed at evaluating the impact of a culturally competent robot for care home assistance. Indeed, it has been estabilished that the user's cultural identity plays an important role during the interaction with a robotic system and cultural competence may be one of the key elements for increasing capabilities of socially assistive robots. Specifically, the paper describes part of the work carried out for the definition and implementation of two different robotic systems for the care of older adults: a culturally competent robot, that shows its awareness of the user's cultural identity, and a reference robot, non culturally competent, but with the same functionalities of the former. The design of both robots is here described in detail, together with the key elements that make a socially assistive robot culturally competent, which should be absent in the non-culturally competent counterpart. Examples of the experimental phase of the CARESSES project, with a fictional user are reported, giving a hint of the validness of the proposed approach.