This is no mere stuffed animal, but a therapeutic robot called Paro crafted to resemble a baby harp seal. Under its antibacterial fur beats a 32-bit processor, along with an array of sensors and actuators. "It can't do much except wriggle...and whine in disarming fashion," writes Hornyak, "but it does respond to its environment"--for instance, give Paro a hug and it will close its eyes as if sleeping.
It's designed to reduce stress in hospital patients and others.
October 5, 2006 10:51 AM PDT
Photo by: Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology