Meet Paro. He’s a robotic seal developed by Japanese researchers to help dementia patients feel that they have companionship and a feeling of security, without the responsibilities of a living pet. (Thanks to Suzie Katz for alerting me to this story).
Made to emulate a live pet as much as possible, he can cuddle, nod and blink his big black eyes. Paro is currently being tested with patients in Baden-Baden and there are already 1,000 robot seals deployed in long-term care homes in Japan.