International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 53–63 | Cite as

Investigation on People Living with Seal Robot at Home

Analysis of Owners’ Gender Differences and Pet Ownership Experience
  • Takanori Shibata
  • Yukitaka KawaguchiEmail author
  • Kazuyoshi Wada


This study examined people living with Paro, a seal robot, and how they interact with it. Questionnaires were sent along with Paro to the owners who could voluntarily choose to respond. Eighty-five responses were obtained and analyzed in terms of gender, preference for animals, and pet ownership experience. The results showed that for females, besides “can touch and hug,” “tactile texture” is also an important reason for keeping Paro. In addition, owners’ preference for animals seems to influence how they touch Paro. Owners who have a dislike or no preference for animals tend to touch Paro differently than do those who like animals, seemingly because of their different playing styles. Moreover, owners who have pet ownership experience tend to talk to Paro more when they wake up and go to sleep compared to owners who have never kept pets. Furthermore, owners who have pet ownership experience demand a “collar” as an accessory for Paro more than do those who have no previous experience of keeping pets. This paper presents and analyzes data on the effects of owners’ gender and pet ownership experience on their interactions with Paro.


Mental commitment robot Human-robot interaction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Previde E, Fallani G, Valsecchi P (2006) Gender differences in owners interacting with pet dogs: an observational study. Ethology 112:64–73 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fujita M (2004) On activating human communications with pet-type robot AIBO. Proc IEEE 92(11):1804–1813 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kato S, Ohshiro S, Itoh H, Kimura K (2004) Development of a communication robot Ifbot. In: Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on robotics and automation, vol 1, pp 697–702 Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Weiss A, Wurhofer D, Tscheligi M (2009) I Love This dog—children’s emotional attachment to the robotic dog AIBO. Int J Soc Robot 1(3):243–248 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shibata T (2004) An overview of human interactive robots for psychological enrichment. Proc IEEE 92(11):1749–1758 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wada K, Shibata T, Musha T, Kimura S (2008) Robot therapy for elders affected by dementia. In: IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology, pp 53–60 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shibata T, Wada K, Ikeda Y, Sabanovic S (2009) Cross-cultural studies on subjective evaluation of a seal robot. Adv Robot 23:443–458 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shibata T, Kawaguchi Y, Wada K (2009) Investigation on people living with Paro at home—effects of sex difference and owners’ animal preference. In: Proceedings of the 18th IEEE international symposium on robot and human interactive communication, pp 1131–1136 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shibata T, Tanie K (2001) Physical and affective interaction between human and mental commit robot. In: Proceedings of the IEEE, international conference on robotics & automation, Seoul, Korea, May 2001, pp 2572–2577 Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wada K, Shibata T, Musha T, Kimura S (2008) Robot therapy for elders affected by dementia. In IEEE engineering in medicine and biology, pp 53–60 Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Martin CL, Little JK (1990) The relation of gender understanding to children’s sex-type preferences and gender stereotypes. Child Dev 61:1427–1439 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Thompson DF (1990) Adult sex typing of children’s toys. Sex Roles 23(5–6):291–303 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tamura T, Nakajima K, Nambu M (2001) Baby dolls as therapeutic tools for severe dementia patients. Gerontechnology 1(2):111–118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kweon S, Lee E, Choi J (2004) A comparative study on the subjective fabric hand according to gender for winter sleepwear fabrics. Fiber Polym 5(1):6–11 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science & Business Media BV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takanori Shibata
    • 1
  • Yukitaka Kawaguchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuyoshi Wada
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Intelligent Systems Research InstituteAISTTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Tokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations