Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Research into robotic pets and dementia underway

Abigail Millings and a Paro
Gail Mountain, Abigail Millings, and Amanda Sharkey have been awarded a small grant from Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust for evaluating the use of social robots with people with dementia. The robots being used are Paro seal robots. Paro seals come from Japan, are extremely cute, and were designed with the aim of providing similar benefits to real live animal companions, but with the added convenience of being hygienic and capable of being switched off - ideal for healthcare settings.

So far, the named investigators and the project leads in Grenoside Grange have received training in how to use the robots, and more staff are due to receive training next week. The evaluation will consist of piloting the use of the Paro seal in a therapeutic context in one-to-one work with people with dementia, and documenting any observable effects, such as changes in mood.

[written by Abigail Millings]


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