Cute Robot Seals Comforts Elderly Tsunami Survivors in Japan

Satsuko Yatsuzaka (84) holds a therapeutic robot named Paro at the Suisyoen retirement home. (Reuters)

It’s cuddly, cute and responds to your affection. Following a two-month evacuation from their home, residents are embracing a small white robotic seal. Reuters reports that the furry friends are being treated as pets by the residents, many of whom are dealing with memories of the quake. The residents currently have two Paro seals, which they’ve named “Love” and “Peace.”

Animals are often used for therapy for the elderly, and aside from its anti-bacterial coat the seals give the elderly residents the same companionship that a pet gives.

An elderly resident uses a therapeutic robot named Paro at the Suisyoen retirement home, about 30 km (19 miles) south of the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, July 28, 2011. For some elderly survivors of Japan’s march earthquake and tsunami, comfort comes in the form of a small white robotic seal named Paro. The residents of the nursing home came back from a nearly two-month-long evacuation since the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. (Reuters)

An elderly resident holds a therapeutic robot named Paro at the Suisyoen retirement home, about 30 km (19 miles) south of the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. (Reuters)


In those pictures, a therapeutic robot named Paro opens its eyes as it reacts to an elderly user’s hand at the Suisyoen retirement home, about 30 km (19 miles) south of the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. (Reuters)

Ayako Shizo (C), aged 85, taps a therapeutic robot named Paro as she sits with other residents at the Suisyoen retirement home about 30 km (19 miles) south of the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture. (Reuters)

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