Social Robotics

Can social robots help you to feel less lonely?

If you are young and active, you may think ‘why would I want to be friends with a robot?’. This tech may not be for you – yet – but what about an older person who feels lonely? Or someone suffering from Dementia who finds it hard to connect to others?

One robot friend you may want to make is Paro, the harp seal. His clever features help him to become his owner’s perfect pet. He can learn all about you and your routine, enabling him to be ‘awake’ before you usually rise, position ready for how you prefer to cuddle and will even learn to respond to any new name you give him. One of his sweetest features is that you charge him through his mouth, so it feels less like charging a machine, more like tucking him in at night – especially with the optional dummy! With decades of research behind him, he is recommended for companionship with those who are unable to have or care for a pet, typically in care homes or hospital wards. Even those living at home independently, who feel lonely or isolated could benefit from Paro’s charm.