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Regenerative and Technological Section / Mini-Review

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Robot Therapy: A New Approach for Mental Healthcare of the Elderly – A Mini-Review

Shibata T.a · Wada K.a, b

Author affiliations

aIntelligent Systems Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, and bGraduate School of System Design, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

Corresponding Author

Takanori Shibata, PhD

Intelligent Systems Research Institute

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568 (Japan)

Tel. +81 29 861 5980, Fax +81 29 861 5992, E-Mail shibata-takanori@aist.go.jp

Related Articles for ""

Gerontology 2011;57:378–386

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Mental healthcare of elderly people is a common problem in advanced countries. Recently, high technology has developed robots for use not only in factories but also for our living environment. In particular, human-interactive robots for psychological enrichment, which provide services by interacting with humans while stimulating their minds, are rapidly spreading. Such robots not only simply entertain but also render assistance, guide, provide therapy, educate, enable communication, and so on. Robot therapy, which uses robots as a substitution for animals in animal-assisted therapy and activity, is a new application of robots and is attracting the attention of many researchers and psychologists. The seal robot named Paro was developed especially for robot therapy and was used at hospitals and facilities for elderly people in several countries. Recent research has revealed that robot therapy has the same effects on people as animal therapy. In addition, it is being recognized as a new method of mental healthcare for elderly people. In this mini review, we introduce the merits and demerits of animal therapy. Then we explain the human-interactive robot for psychological enrichment, the required functions for therapeutic robots, and the seal robot. Finally, we provide examples of robot therapy for elderly people, including dementia patients.

© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel

Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regenerative and Technological Section / Mini-Review

Received: April 30, 2009
Accepted: April 19, 2010
Published online: July 15, 2010
Issue release date: June 2011

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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