Paro: The Robot Seal

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 19, 2006 in Science |

Paro is a robot seal from Japan which is designed to ‘relieve mental stress’:

What is a Mental Commitment Robot?

“Recent advances in robotics have been applied to automation in industrial manufacturing with the primary purpose of optimizing practical systems in terms of such objective measures as accuracy, speed, and cost. However, the resulting robots are mostly kept away from human beings because people can be injured during their everyday functioning.

Unlike industrial robots, “Mental Commitment Robots” are developed to interact with human beings and to make them feel emotional attachment to the robots. Rather than using objective measures, these robots trigger more subjective evaluations, evoking psychological impressions such as “cuteness” and comfort.”

Here’s a Japanese documentary on the subject:

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