Japan’s Paro Robots has designed the robotic seal, Pikatti, for treating patients with dementia. It is already being used by about 40 hospitals and medical agencies in the US for patients who have problems with speech.
The Paro robots weigh around 6lbs and perform various actions such as crying, cooing, and moving various body parts.
Corey Tague, an instructor employed at Passages Hospice in Elgin purchased the Paro robot for performing a therapy session at the Westmont nursing home. Tague stated that the robot replaces animal therapy, which experts feel is a good way to bring forth a response from patients suffering from dementia.
According to the Manager at Paro Robots US, Christine Hsu, this robot has been used for therapy purposes in Japan and the whole of Europe since 2003. Hsu mentioned that about 1,500 robots have been in use in Europe and Japan. He declared that the company has been selling the robot in the US for the past 18 months.
She claimed that the robot proves useful for treating autistic children. The Pikatti features dual processors to manage proprietary software to control its behavior and voice recognition. The robot has artificial antibiotic fur all over its body. According to Hsu, it senses touch, temperature, light, and sound and builds its own character over a period of time.