Healing Robots Come under Spotlight in Japan amid Epidemic

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 11 (Jiji Press)--Pet-like robots are attracting attention in Japan as companions for people spending time at home amid the spread of novel coronavirus infections.

Some such robots, which are designed to comfort and relax users but do not have specific functions to help them, have been sent to elderly care facilities to alleviate the loneliness of residents who have less in-person contact than before due to the epidemic.

Cushion-shaped Qoobo was released by robot maker Yukai Engineering Inc. in 2018. The robot wags its "tail" in line with how strongly it is rubbed by the user.

Inspired by the tails of dogs and cats, the company developed the robot for people who cannot have pets.

According to the company, sales of Qoobo surged after the Japanese government declared its first COVID-19 state of emergency in April last year. One user said the robot goes best with work from home, while another said it is a good partner for naps.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press