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Robot seal brought to Swedish elderly home

Dec. 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

SJOBO, Sweden, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Residents at a a southern Swedish elderly home will soon be able to cuddle up with a robotic seal from Japan, officials say.

The Japanese robots, which respond to touch and to show signs of appreciation, are used in therapeutic care for children and elderly people, The Local.se reported Saturday.

"The seal has appealing eyes and soft fur which is pleasant to touch," Berit Lundstrom, chair of the nursing home, told the local Skanskan newspaper. "It could bring comfort to elderly people who feel anxious."

Lundstrom said bringing in a robot has many advantages over a real cat or dog. A robot is easier to handle and to take care of and there are no risks for allergic reactions.

And, "If you put it in someone's lap it stays there," said Lundstrom.

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