Sony Corp. has launched a trial project using its Aibo robot dog to improve the mental health of children hospitalized at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo.
In the joint experiment that will run until the end of March 2021 and cover some 100 children, Sony will measure whether patients experience relief from their stress and anxiety after interacting with Aibo. The company will announce the findings.
Several Aibo robots have already been brought into the center.
“I’m happy as I feel like Aibo is actually listening to what I’m saying,” said 10-year-old patient Chisako Matsuura.
Kyoko Tanaka, a doctor at the center, expressed hopes for the healing effects of Aibo, saying some children who had locked themselves in their rooms came out because of the robot animals.
According to Sony, other medical institutions have expressed interest in using Aibo for children’s psychological care.