English Abstract
Soft Materials for Therapeutic Robot
Takanori SHIBATA
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2005),78(8),313-320 General Review in Japanese

Seal Robot, Paro, has been developed as a therapeutic robot for people at hospitals and elderly institutions. The body of Paro is covered by "Ubiquitous Surface Tactile Sensor" beneath its artificial fur. The sensor has soft structure. Paro has other kinds of sensors and actuators for physical interaction with humans and its autonomous behaviors. Results of psychological experiment show importance of the physical interaction for interpretation of emotional behaviors of Paro and for high subjective evaluation value. Paro has been used for therapy at children's hospitals and elderly institutions as well as at home. Paro has three kinds of effects to humans; psychological effect, physiological effect and social effect.

Therapeutic Robot, Human Robot Interaction, Tactile Sensor, Physical Interaction, Robot Therapy