menu Home chevron_right

Role of ‘healing robots’ comes into focus amid pandemic in Japan

eddygates1 | August 17, 2021

Pet-like robots are attracting attention in Japan as companions for people spending time at home amid the spread of coronavirus infections.

Some such robots, which are designed to comfort and relax users but do not have specific functions to help them, have been sent to care facilities to alleviate the loneliness of residents who have less in-person contact than before due to the pandemic.

The cushion-shaped Qoobo was released by robot maker Yukai Engineering Inc. in 2018. The robot wags its “tail” in line with how strongly it is rubbed by the user.

Inspired by the tails of dogs and cats, the company developed the robot for people who cannot have pets.

According to the company, sales of Qoobo surged after the Japanese government declared its first COVID-19 state of emergency in April last year. One user said the robot goes best with work from home, while another said it is a good partner for naps.

In December 2020, Yukai Engineering released a smaller version of Qoobo that reacts to sounds.

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp. has started developing its Nicobo robot for domestic use under the concept of an “easygoing housemate.”

It is considering the public release of the robot, which is covered with knitted fabric, acquires vocabulary step by step, and sometimes talks while “asleep.”

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), created the seal-shaped Palo robot, which cries and moves to express its “emotions,” from its animal therapy research.

Experiments showed improvements in dementia and depression symptoms among Palo users.

Care facilities for older people have restricted meetings between residents and family members since the COVID-19 outbreak. A number of such facilities and family members have given Palo devices to older people to prevent them from feeling isolated, according to AIST.

Takanori Shibata, a senior researcher at AIST, said that Palo “can conjure up the image of pets (for users) through physical contact.”

Palo can “have deeper relationships with people than conventional stuffed toys, enhance the quality of their lives and have big therapeutic effects,” Shibata said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.



Written by eddygates1


This post currently has no comments.

Leave a Reply

MAde in Grenada and Design to Blaze we are Rebel Nation


  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. Tipsy Bar & Gril

  • cover play_circle_filled

    02. Digicel

  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. Communical Credit Union

  • cover play_circle_filled

    01. Digicel

  • cover play_circle_filled


  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 010
    Kenny Bass

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 009
    Paula Richards

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 008
    R. Galvanize

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 007
    Kenny Bass

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 006
    J PierceR

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 005
    Gale Soldier

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 004
    Kelsey Love

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 003
    Rodney Waters

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 002
    Morris Play

  • cover play_circle_filled

    Live Podcast 001
    Baron Fury

play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down