A therapeutic robot has been invented to prevent elderly people from depression and loneliness in Japan by Dr. Masayoshi Kanoh in Chukyo University in Japan. It is called Babyloid.
This Babyloid (4.8lb and 17.3 inches) is designed like a human baby in size and shape, and features humane interaction with sensors which react to movement, temperature, pressure and the surrounding light. According to the mood of surrounding, Babyloid, like a human baby, decides how to respond to human beings either by crying or laughing when you hold and take care of it. Indeed, its design is irresistibly cute and cuddly with tiny and floppy face and arms and legs.
The clinical demonstration on Symbiosis between the elderly and Babyloid done in nursing home for the elders has revealed that Babyloid was effective in reducing depression in seniors. Those who spent time with Babyloid for 90 minutes a day has shown decrease in depression symptoms than those who have not.
Though its action and interaction are limited, Babyloid seems to give a positive heath effect to elders or those who feel depressed though young. Presently, its prototype is being made for nursing homes. Its price, if sold commercially, will be about 10,0000 Japanese yen or approx. $1,300.
Well, some people still might prefer keeping a puppy, which won't burn the wallet so much.