PARO is a therapeutic robot, developed by the AIST and available from Intelligent System Co., Ltd.
PARO, modeled on a baby harp seal, displays emotional responses to external stimuli which are input via a range of tactile, light, audio and temperature sensors. PARO is designed to have a positive psychological effect on people who interact with it.
In long-term trials by medical institutions, it’s been confirmed that PARO has similar effects to animal therapy. Major results have been observed in three areas: psychological, physiological, and social effects.
PARO is priced at 350,000 yen with a one-year warranty, and 420,000 yen with a three-year warranty. In Japan, 1,300 PARO robots are already in use. Care facilities in Denmark and other European countries have also started to introduce PARO. In America, PARO has been approved by the FDA, and will be introduced this year.