A friend, who works in home health care, sent me a note about the Paro Therapeutic Robot. She saw it live and was impressed. Comes out of work in Japan, where related work in eldercare has been going on for decades.
PARO Therapeutic Robot
PARO is an advanced interactive robot developed by AIST, a leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer. It allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals present treatment or logistical difficulties.
PARO has been found to reduce patient stress and their caregivers
PARO stimulates interaction between patients and caregivers
PARO has been shown to have a Psychological effect on patients, improving thier relaxation and motivation
PARO improves the socialiazation of patients with each other and with caregivers
World's Most Therapeutic Robot certified by Guinness World Records
PARO is the 8th generation of a design that has been in use in Japan and throughout Europe since 2003.
PARO has five kinds of sensors: tactile, light, audition, temperature, and posture sensors, with which it can perceive people and its environment. With the light sensor, PARO can recognize light and dark. He feels being stroked and beaten by tactile sensor, or being held by the posture sensor. PARO can also recognize the direction of voice and words such as its name, greetings, and praise with its audio sensor. .... "