Robots that resemble furry children’s toys are set to be trialled to help dementia patients in North Yorkshire, according to The Scarborough News.
The robots – shaped like seals – are designed to keep dementia patients company and are part of North Yorkshire County Council’s exploration of new technology across the county.
Originally developed in Japan, the seals include five sensors which can detect touch, light, sound, temperature and posture.
Its audio sensor ensures that it can recognise words including its name, greetings, and praise.
The seals will be trialled for three months by Dementia Forward during which their impact on patient’s wellbeing will be assessed.
As reported by The Scarborough News, Michael Rudd, the county’s head of housing market development team, said: “Whenever we talk about technology, there’s always some concerns raised around social isolation and human beings being replaced by machines,” he said.
“For us, where technology sits, it benefits what we already have and allows us to maximise our workforce.”
A report presented to committee members said: “Trials across the world have been found to reduce stress, stimulate interaction between people and carers, and has been shown to have a psychological effect on people, improving their relaxation and motivation and reducing challenging behaviour.