(English) PARO for Emotional Support


Dr. Takanori Shibata at the National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has been developing animal type robots for therapy as like animal therapy since 1993. A baby seal robot, PARO, was commercialized in its 8th generation in 2005 in Japan. PARO was certified as a neurological therapeutic medical device in biofeedback device in Class II medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009. Now, the Medicare and private insurance accept reimbursement of prescribed biofeedback therapy with PARO for patients diagnosed as anxiety, pain, depression and/or behavioral issues such as aggression, agitation and wondering. Since 2006, PARO has been proposed for a companion for astronauts in long-term missions for emotional support, isolation issues and crew bonding.


6,000+ PAROs have been used in 30+ countries for from children to elderly. There are two major purposes of usage of PARO; one is for companionship for individuals at home, and the other is for therapy and rehabilitation at hospitals, hospices, elderly facilities, schools, etc. As for the later one, as usage of PARO for therapy reduces a lot of dosage of psychotropic medications, a lot of countries and municipalities have adopted PARO in their public medical and welfare systems for nonpharmacological therapy.


Dr. Takanori Shibata

Dr. Takanori Shibata, AIST, Japan
PARO, Neurological Therapeutic Medical Device As like animal therapy, PARO improves moods, motivation, stress, loneliness, anxiety, pain, depression, etc. of the interacting persons.

Main Clients

Individuals, Offices, Hospitals, Veterans Affairs Hospitals, Elderly Facilities, Hospices, Schools, etc.

(English) PARO Robots

(English) HQ Location (English) Nanto, Toyama, Japan
(English) Overseas Offices (English) Chicago, Paris, London, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Tilburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brisbane, Bangkok
(English) Year of Establishment (English) 2004
(English) Main Products (English) PARO, therapeutic medical device (9th generation)
(English) Company Website (English)
(English) Point of Contact (English)