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Investigation on People Living with Seal Robot at Home

Analysis of Owners’ Gender Differences and Pet Ownership Experience

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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.

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Correspondence to Yukitaka Kawaguchi.

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Shibata, T., Kawaguchi, Y. & Wada, K. Investigation on People Living with Seal Robot at Home. Int J of Soc Robotics 4, 53–63 (2012).

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