Canadian Press (01/12/09)
Inventor Takanori Shibata, from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, demonstrated Paro, a therapeutic robot that looks like a baby seal, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “His whole body is covered by tactile senses so Paro feels your touch and your stroking,” Shibata says. Paro also features artificial intelligence technology, which enables the robot to remember how it was treated, encourage caressing, and respond to mistreatment with a sad cry. “Paro changes his character depending on the interaction with the owner,” Shibata says. Designed for use in animal therapy and social rehabilitation for people who cannot take care of real animals and in institutions that do not allow them, Paro also is being used as a substitute pet in Japan.
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