Mitigating isolation and loneliness with technology through emotional care by social robots in remote
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This book chapter explores how experiences of isolation and loneliness in remote areas can be mitigated through social robots’ emotional care. We first discuss the concept of being social and how that notion is changing with rapid digitalization. The research for this chapter zooms in the context of remote regions, characterized by vast geographical distances between cities, public services, and people’s homes, in concrete, in northern and southern European regions. Then, the chapter discusses the Scandinavian term ‘welfare technology,’ and investigate different technological advances aiming towards bridging the gap loneliness poses. We propose the use and development of social robots equipped with emotional care support as a way of mitigating loneliness, given that the users do not experience the implementation of the technology into their daily life as paternalistic. We close the article with reflections on the consequences of such a sensible choice.