Residents at Vinson Hall Retirement Community have a new house guest. He is white, furry, and comes all the way from Japan. Meet Paro the world’s most therapeutic robot (according to the Guiness Book of World Records). Modeled after a baby Harp seal, Paro is a mental commitment robot designed to interact with humans on a personal and therapeutic level. Dr. Shibata, Paro’s inventor, has exhibited the seal pup all over the world and studies people’s reactions to the robot. In Italy, a resident suffering from dementia became calm and relaxed after petting Paro. In Japan, Paro stimulated communication between nursing home residents as they gather around to pet him and care for him. I got to meet Paro at a special presentation at Vinson Hall Retirement Community. This incredible little robot made everyone in the room smile as he squeaked, batted his long eyelashes, and raised his head. It is easy to see how people, both young and old, enjoy interacting with him.Paro

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