Several years ago, the 3Yen reported the slacker-but-Cute Bots of Japan and specifically on the Paro therapy robot seal.
Now, according to the WSJ.com (see below), after five years of trials/PR, $15 USD million in development costs and sales of fewer than 1,300 bots, poor Paro is basically unemployed.
It’s just my wild quess, but Paro’s joblessness could have something to do with its $6,000 USD price tag and being labelled in engrish a “Mental Commit Robot.”
Paro the Robo-Seal Aims to Comfort Elderly, but Is It Ethical?
6/21/2010 — WSJ.com
Five years ago, a Japanese robot manufacturer introduced Paro to the world. Built to resemble a baby harp seal—with a plush coat of antibacterial fur—Paro was hailed in Japan as a pioneer among socially interactive robots, one that would help lift the spirits of millions of elderly adults
It never quite caught on. “It doesn’t do much other than utter weird sounds like “heeee” or “huuuu” says Tomoko Iimura, whose adult day-care center in Tsukuba City keeps its Paro in a closet…. unimpressed. Lakewood Manor, a continuing-care retirement community in Richmond, Va., borrowed a Paro last year….but sent it back after three months. Says Holly Raidabaugh, Lakewood’s director of marketing: “I think the staff took to him more than the residents did.”…more...
Of course Paro-kun could be greatly improved with adding functionalities like a vibrator and vacuum attachments such as the Japanese robotrix shown below.
Ripped-off from scandyfactory.tumblr.com