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Robot seals heal hearts of tsunami survivors

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© 2012 AFP

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Excellent idea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

this is a good stop-gap measure but japan would do well to develop a mental health care system - sorely lacking and still stigmatized - weren`t lessons learned from 1995?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes, much better than human contact. Cool, now that problem is solved, Tohoku is back on track, let's get back to enjoying life in paradise!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yes, much better than human contact

And you submitted your application to be "human contact" on what date? Were you refused by the authorities for some reason? Oh wait, you didn't apply at all. And I don't think you've lifted a finger to help these people at all.

The inventors are trying to think outside of the box. Given them some credit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Im not sure what I think about these, but as long as it give someone a bit of happiness or joy with out harming anyone or anything can't really complain can we.

My question is did the Simpsons episode about Barts Robotic Baby Seals become before or after the public release of this, life imitating art or art imitating life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe just me but providing long term housing re-training, mental case workers and a plan for future development might provide a taxable income in the future, rather them a novelty toy! If it's the best they got...so be it. Thinking outside the box encompasses more then taking it out of the box?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ NZ2011: I was going to mention that same episode from The Simpsons too! Hahaha first thing that came into my mind after I saw the picture. Anyway, I liked this idea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much is one of these robot seals? How many people would the money get out of shelters and set up on their own? As one poster said this is nothing but a stop-gap measure, but to take it a step further it is simply testing/advertising a product. I'm glad the little electronic critter makes people happy, but how about giving them a home and the chance to raise a REAL pet (if they choose) instead?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Meanwhile how many real, living pets were left behind to run wild and starve?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Paro the robot seal is an old invention. It is on display at Miraikan and for sale at Yahoo, Rakuten and the Akihabara shop specializing in robotic technology whose name constantly eludes me. It goes for ¥420,000 and was originally designed to comfort elderly, Altzheimer's patients and autistic children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paro_(robot)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now we will start seeing these in Akiba

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I saw the robot seal at the robot convention a couple of months ago. I forgot how much they cost but if gaijinTechie is correct then the Fujitsu therapy bear and the Unazuki Kabochan are way cheaper. Kabochan is well under 50,000 yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw a TV segment a few years ago where they took one of these to an old people's home (gaijinTechie is right, they've been around for a while). They were very popular, the old dears were all but fighting over it, so it does seem very effective.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, one year later they send stuffed toys to help people get over it. How about they stop wasting the tsunami relief funds on security for the whalers and get these people back into real houses and also create some jobs for them? That will do a lot more to ease their depression than playing with stuffed toys, don't you think?

Moderator: Your reference to whalers is off topic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, I find this sad - and scarey. No toys? Wouldn't it be better to get them some books (sit on mom's lap and read together) or paper and coloured pencils and have kids draw and colour together? A robot seal. Cripes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Shumatsu...sorry, my wife and her friends had bake sales to fund the purchase of household appliances which were brought to the peopl there last summer. I teach in a high school and do not have enough holidays to do anything like that, so I just donate money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the govt has dragged its feet getting these people taken care of and I get dumped on...lol! I am sorry, guess I was just trying to help Japan retain mentsu by not being more generous than they are to there own people!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad, very sad. Better than a dog out back on a 1 meter chain tho. Do real seals coo? I know cats do but sadly we know where many of them wind up. For a child in a restrictive environment, or a dementia patient completely out of it sure, a fuzzy toy. "The latest weapon in the battle against depression"? "Healing hearts"? It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. It's just a toy and a poor substitute for the warm healing touch of another human being.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow... 420000 yen per fake seal... That could easily give these people employment, food, and shelter for a while. But hey.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a load of bollocks. get more comfort from an inflatable blow up doll. Very cheap, second hand, on ebay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

420000 yen per fake seal... That could easily give these people employment, food, and shelter for a while. But hey.

Aren't they being donated by the company that made them? They are just trying to help...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So they'll pay to be patronized to, but not paid to be actually helped. wth

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aren't they being donated by the company that made them? They are just trying to help...

The article says they are being "offered". It doesn't specify whether the offering is gratis, or for a reduced cost, or for full cost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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