The Japanese government has awarded this years Robot Award to Paro, the “Grandma soothing” robotic seal! This fuzzy robot was created to help calm the elderly as they sit and rot in their nursing homes. Paro allows us to get those damn geezers out of our hair for a while until they realize it’s not actually a real seal, but a robotic distraction ambush. Eventually, Japanese robotic specialist hope to have a fully automated caring system for the elderly. If anybody knows about needing more room, it’s the Japanese with their clogged cities.
Besides old people, Paro has been used with autistic and disabled children. Everyone that they want out of their hair gets to play with the little fuzz ball. They now all get to love and stroke a realistic baby seal, without the horrifying stench. Yeah…that’s the way to instill a sense of reality in our elderly and mentally handicapped. — Andrew Dobrow