ZEST Dementia & Aged Care is proud to introduce this cutting edge technology to the Australian healthcare sector.
PARO is an advanced interactive robot which provides psychological and social effects to human beings through physical interaction.
Despite the fact that animal assisted therapy has been in practice for a long time, some hospitals and nursing facilities still don’t accept animals even though they recognise the very positive effects that animals can have in assisted therapy and activity. Some are concerned about the potential negative effects of animals on people including allergies, infections, bites and scratches. PARO provides many of the benefits of animal therapy without any of these potential hazards.
PARO is an 8th generation therapeutic robot that has been in use in Japan and throughout Europe since 2003. PARO is designed to look like a baby seal which is a non·familiar animal allowing users to accept it easily without any significant pre-conceptions. Covered in artifIcial antibiotic fur, it features a hard inner skeleton under which are dual processors that control proprietary software for behaviour generation and voice recognition systems. The built-in intelligence provides psychological, physiological and social benefits through physical interaction with human beings. PARO not only imitates animal behaviour, it also responds to light, sound, temperature, touch and posture, and over time develops its own character. As a result, it becomes a “living” cherished pet that provides relaxation, entertainment, and companionship to the owner. It Is perfect for those who cannot take care of real animals and those who live in places where live animals are prohibited, including hospitals, elder care Centres and nursing homes.
How PARO Works
PARO has five kinds of sensors: tactile, light, audition. temperature, and posture sensors, with which it can perceive people end its environment. With its light sensor, PARO can recognise light and dark and responds to being stroked or held via its tactile and posture sensors. PARO can also recognise the direction of voice and words such as its name, greetings. and praise using its built-in audio sensor. PARO can learn to behave in a way that the user prefers, and to respond to its new name. For example, if you stroke it every time you touch it, PARO will remember your previous action and will try to repeat that action to be stroked. PARO will also allow people to reminisce about their own past pet experiences and assists in reducing anxiety and stress.
PARO can either be purchased outright or rented by the month with no minimum rental period required. We can also arrange a trial for you to use PARO in your residence or private home. Contact us today to find out how we can help you to experience PARO for yourself!
Professor Wendy Moyle from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
People with dementia may present with agitated behaviours that cause stress for the person him/herself, those who care for them, and other residents in care facilities. Apathy, loneliness and depression are also common consequences of dementia and can make it challenging for care staff to engage this population in meaningful activities, which in turn places them at high risk for further cognitive and functional decline. Following our successful pilot trial 1 our group received over one million dollars from the National Health and Medical Research Council to explore the effect of PARO on people with dementia2. The cluster randomized controlled trial randomizes residential aged care facilities to one of three conditions, (PARO, Plush Toy, or Usual Care). The research compares the three conditions in terms of reducing emotional and behavioural (agitation) symptoms of dementia, the acceptability of PARO for staff and family, the relationship between the three conditions and physical activities, sleep duration and agitation. The project will also conduct a comparative cost analysis of PARO as a non-pharmacological method to manage and reduce agitation, and improve engagement and mood states in people with dementia. The three-year project commenced in 2014 and is being led by Professor Wendy Moyle from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
1 Moyle W, Cooke M, Beattie E, Jones C, Klein B, Cook G & Gray C. (2013). Exploring the effect of companion robots on emotional expression in older people with dementia: A pilot RCT. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 39 (5), 46-53. DOI:10.3928/00989134-20130313-03.
2 Moyle, W,Beattie E, Draper B, Shum D, Thalib L (AIs Jones, C, O’Dwyer S, Mervin C. (2013). Effect of an interactive therapeutic robotic animal on engagement, mood states, agitation and antipsychotic drug use, NHMRC Project Grant APP1065320, 2014-2017.
Professor Moyle speaking about PARO at the 31st International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), held in Budapest, Hungary, from 21–24 April 2016.
ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA and PARO Video (see below):
THE GUARDIAN : How Paro the robot seal is being used to help UK dementia patients (click on this link)
PARO TRAINING VIDEOS (see below):