Fluffy seals are always going to give us the ahh factor, especially when they react to your stroking with mewling and tail wagging. The Paro is a therapeutic robot which allows pet free people to enjoy the benefits of having an animal without the stress, and acts as a valuable therapeutic tool in places where animals are unwelcome- such as hospitals. TheParo is currently undergoing its 8th revolution as a therapy robot, and includes some updates and enhancements to its body. It remains the same fluffy harp seal you may have seen before, but within the antibacterial fur lies a wealth of tech goodness.
Dual processors control behavioural software and a voice recognition system which allows the Paro to build relationships with its owners and makes it respond to sound, touch and light. In effect, these attributes help the Paro create a distinct personality, and create an artificial bond with its owner.
The idea is that interacting with the Paro provides one with therapeutic social interaction and motivates and amuses them. A quick five minutes playing with the Paro was enough to have me filled very chilled, so I can really see the beneficial side to this robot. It will be making its way into healthcare places across the country, and they are initiating a rental programme.