Robot Dog Helps Seniors To Ease Loneliness

Armen Hareyan's picture

Older people in nursing home may feel less lonely when a robot doggie pays them a visit.

Scientists from Saint Louis University in Missouri conducted a study 38 nursing homes. Residents were divided into three groups: first group patients were having 30-minute visits of a floppy-eared doggie named Sparky, second group patients were having visits of a robot dog named AIBO, third group patients were not having any visits at all.


By the end of the study nursing home residents were questioned about loneliness and mood. Surprisingly, second group residents were found to be as happy as first group ones.

It is already well known that pets improve emotional state of elderly, but most of them are either unable to care about pets because of their own conditions, or they have to leave their loved pets because of moving to nursing homes. However, researchers did not expect a robot doggie to be as successful as a live pet for making elderly happy.

AIBO is a robot doggie made by Sony Corp with artificial intelligence and is able to express emotions and interact with people. Researchers also suggest that apart from making elderly feel happy, robot dogs can also help them manage their daily tasks and alert in case of emergencies.