Robotic Pet Therapy

January 4, 2008 | By Matt Van Hoven | Category: Strange But True | 561 comments
Tags: pet, therapy, strange but true, other pets

SINGAPORE – The next stage in pet therapy has arrived in the Far East, and puts a unique spin on this already effective treatment method.

According to, a robotic seal named Paro could change the face of pet therapy. Paro, which means robot in Japanese, is designed to interact with patients interested in pet therapy.

Based on a series of 30 posture, tactile, visual and audio sensors, Paro responds to its user much like its living counterpart would. If you call his name, Paro winks with delight. He wiggles when you pet him, but ignore him and he'll get agitated.

The fuzzy tool boasts many attributes that could help overcome some of the issues with live pet therapy. For example, many hospitals don't allow live animals because of potential bacterial risks.

And pet therapy animals require a handler. Even though handlers are often volunteers, they have full time jobs, so therapy is often based around their schedules.

Not with Paro, though. He requires very little maintenance and has anti-bacterial fur to keep those germs at bay. Just put him in any patient's lap and he'll do the rest.

The $4,000 robot will be unveiled this month in Japan, and it's already been named the “World's Most Theraputic Robot,” by the Guiness Book of World Records.

To find out more, go to

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Comments (331)

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Katie M.

Katie M.
5 years ago

Interesting, I wonder how it's going.

Good Point | Reply ›


6 years ago

First they want to replace humans in the work force, now animals :)

Good Point | Reply ›

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