Importance of Physical Interaction between Human and Robot for Therapy

  • Takanori Shibata
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6768)


Mental health care of the elderly people is a common problem in advanced countries. Recently, high technology has developed robots for use not only in factories but also for our living environment. In particular, human interactive robots for psychological enrichment, which provide services by interacting with humans while stimulating their minds, is rapidly spreading. Such robots not only simply entertain but also render assistance, guide, provide therapy, educate, enable communication, and so on. Robot therapy, which uses robots as a substitution for animals in animal-assisted therapy and activity, is a new application of robots and is attracting the attention of many researchers and psychologists. The seal robot named Paro was developed especially for robot therapy and was used at hospitals and facilities for the elderly people in several countries. Recent research has revealed that robot therapy has the same effects on people as animal therapy.


Mental Commitment Robot Robot Therapy Human–Robot Interaction Elderly Care 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takanori Shibata
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)Japan

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