Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Paro Robot Seal Helps Grandma

Paro is a robot that looks like a baby harp seal. Developed by AIST in Japan years ago, it has finally arrived in America - to help Grandma in the nursing home.

Paro offers these benefits:

  • Paro has been found to reduce patient stress and their caregivers
  • Paro stimulates interaction between patients and caregivers
  • Paro has been shown to have a Psychological effect on patients, improving their relaxation and motivation
  • Paro improves the socialiazation of patients with each other and with caregivers.

(Paro baby robot seal in the wild - in Japan)

Paro has five kinds of sensors - tactile, light, hearing, temperature and posture. To put it another way, Paro can sense the difference between being alone or being stroked, between night and day, between silence and talking, between warm and cold and even whether it is being held. Paro can also recognize the direction of voice and words such as its name, greetings, and praise

Paro learns to behave in a way that its user prefers; it can respond to the name Grandma gives it, now that Paro has come to American nursing homes.

Nursing-home workers and academics who study human-robot interaction are trying to figure out whether the $6,000 seal, cleared last fall by U.S. regulators as a Class 2 medical device (a category that includes powered wheelchairs) represents a disturbing turn in our treatment of the elderly or the best caregiving gadget since the Clapper.

"Some of our residents need more than we as human beings can provide," says Marleen Dean, activities manager at Vincentian Home, one of four facilities run by Pittsburgh-based Vincentian Collaborative System. Vincentian Collaborative recently used a $55,000 grant to purchase eight Paros and finds them especially comforting to patients with dementia. "We've tried soft teddy bears that talk and move. But they don't have the same effect."

Science fiction fans are probably thinking about the electric sheep and other robotic animals from Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

However, I was thinking about the medical care robots from The Rowan, a 1990 novel by Anne McCaffrey. Pukhas are specially programmed stabilizing surrogate devices, and like Paro, they have sensor fur:

They could be programmed for a variety of uses, but more often were used in surgical and long-term care with great effect and as surrogates for intense dependency cases. ...thought had been given to its programming: its long soft hair was composed of receptors, monitoring the child's physical and psychic health.
(Read more about pukhas)

Via Wall Street Journal; also, check out the Paro website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/21/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...' - Isaac Asimov, 1942.

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...' - Terminator, 1984.

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...' - Mikhail Mikheev, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Automatic Bot Traffic Is 38 Percent Of HTTP Requests
'there were so many worms and counterworms loose in the data-net...'

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
'A human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
'The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell...'

With Mycotecture, We'll Just Grow The Space Habitats We Need
'The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral's special air-borne food.'

Can A Swarm Of Deadly Drones Take Out An Aircraft Carrier?
'The border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

WiFi and AI Team Up To See Through Walls
'The pitiless M rays pierced Earth and steel and densest concrete as if they were so much transparent glass...'

Climate Engineering In California Could Make Europe's Heat Waves Worse
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Optimus Robot Will Be A Good Nanny, Says Musk
'Nanny is different,' Tom Fields murmured... 'she's not like a machine. She's like a person.'

ESA To Build Moon Bases Brick By Printed LEGO Brick
'We made a crude , small cell and were delighted - and, I admit, somewhat surprised - to find it worked.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.