TOPIC Life Innovation with Therapeutic Robot, Paro

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology


DATE Friday, 1 Oct 2010
TIME 3:00 – 5:00 pm
VENUE Engineering Auditorium, National University of Singapore

9 Engineering Drive 1, S (117575)

FEES No Charge
Modelled after a baby harp seal, Robot Paro was created in 1993 by Dr Takanori Shibata to serve as a companion at home (pet) and a therapy aid at hospitals, elderly institutions and schools. A recent study was conducted to investigate how Paro is perceived by caregivers and patients in seven countries. It was found that cultural differences contributed to the degree to which Paro is perceived as a pet and a therapy tool.

In this lecture, Dr Shibata will share the findings of this study, describe the functions and benefits of Paro and elaborate on how it has been implemented in therapy programmes around the world.

Senior Research Scientist
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

Born in ’67, Dr Takanori Shibata received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Electronic and Mechanical Engineering from Nagoya University in ’89, ’91 and ’92 respectively. He works at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) where he studies human-robot interaction, robot therapy and humanitarian de-mining. He did a brief stint as a research scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Lab in both MIT and University of Zurich. He is also currently the Deputy Director for Information and Communication Technology Police, Bureau of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan.

In 2002, Paro was recognised as the World’s Most Therapeutic Robot by the Guinness World Records. For his achievements, Dr Shibata has received numerous awards such as the Robot of the Year Award (2006) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, the Outstanding Young Person Of The World Award (2004) by the Junior Chamber International and the Japanese Prime Minister ‘s Award (2003).