Overcoming Social Isolation with PARO


Thinking about a dog or cat to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic? Is it becoming difficult to care for a pet? Tired of the mess? Are your family or friends allergic to animals? Do you crave interaction like an animal can provide? Did you suffer the recent pain of a pet dying? PARO Therapeutic Robot is an answer to those many needs or challenges. Easy to interact with. Easy to care for. NO mess. NO allergies. 

PARO has been lifting the spirits of adults and children around the World. 

PARO is in the 9th generation of development and has been used in Japan and throughout Europe since 2003. It is not a toy like a weighted baby doll but instead acts as an animal alternative without the animal risks. Since 2009, PARO has been FDA recognized as a Class II Neurological Therapeutic Medical Device based on university testing in multiple countries and the US. Efficacy and effectiveness have been established through randomized controlled trials and the practical use of PARO’s high level of patient engagement. PARO can be used as an administered therapeutic treatment device under prescription but can also be purchased and used without a prescription as a pet or emotional support robot. 

PARO was intentionally designed to look like a baby harp seal, an animal not familiar to most users. People can accept PARO more easily without strict expectations of natural behaviors. PARO has artificial fur with antimicrobial surface properties that cover a hard inner body. The body holds an Artificial Intelligence computer and many movement actuators that generate PARO’s animal-like movements and behaviors. Having a computer inside also generates a very comfortable amount of warmth in PARO, like a live animal.

The self-contained computer and actuators inside PARO produce many subtle movements, sounds and cess sensor inputs to simulate believable physical behaviors that mimic animal and human interactions. The behaviors are all without connecting to any other computers nor the Internet. PARO is a champ at keeping secrets, because PARO does not listen to or record video of interactions or conversations. PARO has a voice that makes baby harp seal sounds appropriate for the stimulation that the user is giving PARO. 

How PARO works?


PARO is simple to operate. There is an ON / OFF button. The volume control for PARO’s voice usually only needs to be set once. PARO weighs about 5.5 pounds, feels warm, and recharges its battery by “sucking” on a pacifier-like charging cable. It has touch, light, sound, and posture sensors, so it can perceive people and its environment. PARO detects nice petting versus harsh hitting or poking by its touch sensors and can make positive or negative movement or seal sound responses. 

  1. Touch: Under the fur, many surfaces “feel” petting, patting, poking or pinching touches. Whiskers are also sensitive to touch like an animal.
  2. Light: Recognizes changes in light, like when someone walks in front of it or covers its face.
  3. Sound: Recognize the direction of sounds, voices and recognizes some words such as its name, greetings, and praise.
  4. Posture: Reacts positively to hugs or negatively to being on its back.

The combination of these sensors and sophisticated AI interpretation provides the robot with the ability to react in ways that cause the same feelings in humans as they would get from an animal. By interaction with people, PARO responds as if it is alive, moving its head and flippers, making sounds, following your voice, reacting to your movement, and exhibiting your preferred behaviors. PARO also uses recordings of a real baby harp seal voice to reinforce positive and negative responses. By interacting with PARO, people may be amused, relaxed, entertained, distracted, and motivated. As a result, PARO can help to initiate a therapeutic result and a more positive emotional state.

Five Basic PARO Principles

  • PARO can facilitate human-to-human connection and positive emotional responses.
  • PARO responds to and accepts everyone just as they are.
  • PARO bridges people of ages together as a conversation starter.
  • PARO gives people the opportunity to care about something and feel cared about by PARO. Giving love and receiving love.
  • PARO has no “fight or flight” instincts when abused. No biting, scratching, or other retaliation for bad interactions with people with diminished mental capacity.

“There’s a pretty large body of evidence to show that interacting with animals can help things like lower blood pressure, reduce depression, reduce subjective pain, decrease the time it takes to recover from chronic ailments,” says Dr. Geoffrey Lane, the psychologist who brought Paro to the Livermore Veterans Administration hospital.

PARO users throughout the World include adults, senior citizens, and children that live in facilities, apartments, or housing that do not allow animal companions. It is also being used for treating adult and child patients in care facilities like hospitals, special needs schools, nursing homes, clinical practices, and other assisted living or long-term care. PARO has also been used with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, Parkinson’s, BPSD, head injury, hospice, Autism Spectrum, and other populations management and coping therapies when service animals are not practical.

PARO can be purchased and used by individuals without a doctor’s order and some customers enjoy PARO as a house pet. If you are interested in learning more about our lovely PARO, please download the flyer or contact us at the below information.

Direct: (847) 471-1032
Office: (847) 241-6692

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