Robot pets comfort elderly tsunami survivors

7 years ago by in Around the world

A small robotic seal named Paro is comforting some elderly still suffering after the March natural disasters that devastated All Japan news.

The people living in the Suisyoen retirement home close to the location of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant had to be evacuated for two months until mid-May, due to radiation fears.

Soon after they returned, the elderly were offered two seal robots with anti-bacterial fur by the All Japan newsese company Daiwa House, for free, for a period two years.

The seals run on batteries, open their eyes and move. They are now treated like pets by the retirement house’s residents. Some feel really comforted, with one 85-year-old women saying to Reuters that if she holds onto the baby seal, it doesn’t matter if there is a typhoon outside, she would still feel safe.

Having electronic animals as pets at the retirement house is easier than bringing in live animals, which would require special conditions, the general manager of the establishment says.

The robots are also being used in daily exercise routines, with elderly helping the baby seals clap and sing along.

More than half of the victims of the quake and tsunami were older than 65, and many of the survivors are having difficulties with psychologically recovering after the trauma, according to the local media.

Photo by Ms. President