American retirement homes fall in love with robot

An American retirement home is having remarkable success using a Japanese robot as a therapeutic toy for its dementia patients.

Cute and cuddly – it’s Japan’s national fetish, but now the Japanese are exporting their favourite attributes to retirement homes in America.

It’s all thanks to Paro, a fur-covered robot, who’s been introduced to dementia patients in Vinson Hall. Paro snuggles, bats its eyelashes and waggles his tail all in the quest of being cute and cuddly – something it does very well.

The residents have fallen in love with Paro, with some patients even having conversations, as the Washington Post found:

Paro: “Whoop!”
Durham: “Oh, no, that’s not right.”
“You shouldn’t have said that.”
“We’ll make up.”

Staff and residents at Vinson Hall, the first retirement home in America with Paro, have fallen in love with the cuddly creature despite his mechanical nature.

“Even though Paro is a machine, once he starts responding and moving, you almost go back to thinking about your pet, your dog or cat or neighborhood,” said Kathleen L. Martin, head of Vinson Hall.

Sources: Dvice, Washington Post