Black Friday shopping with a twist: Robotic pets

For pet lovers and practice staff, shopping the day after Thanksgiving will invariably include pet-related gifts. And for friends and family who, by choice or circumstance, don’t have a pet, there are some furry alternatives.

The toy company Hasbro’s Joy for All brand launched a new, life-like robotic dog, to accompany its companion pet cat already on the market, on Oct. 3, reported Business Wire.

But this isn’t the only robotic pet.

In fact, Paro, an interactive therapeutic robotic seal developed by Japan’s National institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, is being used across the United States in hospitals and senior living facilities, reported CNN Wire on Oct. 4. And it's value has been quantified. 

Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand conducted a study with 40 senior residents at a retirement home and concluded that interacting with Paro significantly decreased loneliness.

The study was published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Photo credit: © iStock/yipengge


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