There are many robot puppy toys out there that are built for entertainment and companionship, but Tombot Robotics is offering something with a much more meaningful purpose – a realistic dog that will help seniors with their health. It’s long been known that animal companionship can help the elderly maintain their mental and physical well-being, but it’s not always practical for them to take care of an actual pet. That’s where this robot companion comes in.
The robotics company collaborated with Hollywood animatronics experts at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to get the look just right. No, they didn’t want it to look like a Muppet. The idea was to make it look like a real labrador retriever puppy. Its looks are not only very realistic, but so is the way it feels, and its behavior.
Being realistic is key, because research shows that those who suffer from dementia can see a decrease in behavioral and psychological symptoms when they form an emotional attachment to cute critters like this. Being emotionally attached also means being socially engaged. Plus having a pet (real or robotic) is shown to relieve stress and loneliness, and reduce anxiety. I mean, there’s nothing bad about a puppy right?
This adorable robot companion is available for pre-order on Kickstarter to get the word out that this pup is here to help seniors and others. You can get in on an early bird order for August 2020 delivery for $299. They also have shirts and mugs and stuff to help support the project.