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"Paro is a robot that costs around $5000 adn looks like a toy version of a baby harp seal. It is sensitive to sound, touch and light and teh position in which it is being held, and in response to such stimuli it bats its eyelids, flaps its flippers, lifts its head, quivers, wriggles, yelps and purrs.

The Paro robot was designed in Japan to provide comfort for those with dementia and there is good evidence that it works - that it can relieve boredom, reduce stress, cheer people up and provide solace for those in distress. "

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