Robot simulates benefits of pet therapy for elderly patients

Elderly patients can now reap the benefits of pet therapy from a robot instead of live animals. The device, called the Huggler, emits a variety of sounds when stroked, tickled, or squeezed. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Elderly patients can now reap the benefits of pet therapy from a robot instead of live animals. The device, called the Huggler, emits a variety of sounds when stroked, tickled, or squeezed. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Elderly patients can now reap the benefits of pet therapy from a robot instead of live animals. The device, called the Huggler, emits a variety of sounds when stroked, tickled, or squeezed. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Elderly patients can now reap the benefits of pet therapy from a robot instead of live animals. The device, called the Huggler, emits a variety of sounds when stroked, tickled, or squeezed. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

Senior citizens can now reap the benefits of pet therapy from a robot instead of live animals.

The device, called the Huggler, emits a variety of sounds when stroked, tickled, or squeezed.

A*Star scientist Dr Tan Yeow Kee, who invented the Huggler, said the device promotes mental stimulation and helps relieve loneliness and depression - all benefits of traditional pet therapy.

The device is being used at the Hougang branch of St Luke's Eldercare as part of a pilot. Dr Tan hopes to roll out the product internationally within the next two years.