Great Pet For Elderly Patients: Paro, the Therapeutic Robot


The world is not always rainbows and sunshine for everyone. There are many people who are suffering from chronic diseases and loneliness especially the elderly. Owning a pet helps one in getting comfort. But pets are difficult to maintain for aged people. So, scientists have been creating pet robots to fill the void. One of such is Paro, a baby robot seal.

Features of Paro

Paro is not just a robot, its a life saver. It can be said that Paro is one of the cuddliest medical devices ever designed. The growing popularity of this robot across the world shows how much of a success this creation is. It is designed by the Intelligent System Research Institute of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan in 1993. Paro is being used in nursing homes and clinics especially for dementia patients. It is being used as a part of Pet Therapy to reduce anxiety and depression among those patients. The main advantage of this robot is that it looks life-like with anti-bacterial smooth fur and it does not need to be fed like a regular pet. It has tactile sensors and eyebrows that show emotions such as surprise, happiness and anger. It also makes sounds. 

Popularity

Across the world, robots are being used to treat patients. They are easy to manage and they don`t die like real pets. These baby seal robots have reached the shores of US and Europe too from Japan. Initially, there was a little response in the foreign countries. However, this is gaining huge popularity as it is proven to be better than other pet robots. This robot is featured in many Television programs including the Simpsons (episode "Replaceable You") and Master of None (eighth episode). There is also a negative concern over whether it is ethical to use robots to induce emotional support in human beings. However, this is a really cool invention from Japan that needs to be admired.

An elderly lady hugging Paro
Via ibtimes

This robot costs around 5000$ as of now but is definitely worth buying for the sake of patients in dire need of some sort of companionship.

References: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704463504575301051844937276 

Yashwanth Kumar Rasani