Recently, robot therapy—mental health care through interaction with robots—has attracted many researchers. In particular, the therapeutic seal robot named PARO, which was developed by AIST, is widely used in more than 30 countries. PARO is a neurological therapeutic medical device approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This workshop introduces how PARO is evaluated and used clinically as non-pharmacological therapy for various patients from children to elderly, and its social, psychological and physiological effects. In addition, new application of PARO to “Space” will be introduced. PARO may be a companion for astronauts in the mission to Mars. Then, participants will discuss the future of robot therapy. Intended audiences are robotics engineers, psychologists, sociologists, medical doctors, nurses, caregivers, therapists, students who are interested in HRI research, and etc. After the workshop, the organizers intend to edit a special issue of an international journal or a book.


The topics of interest include, but are not limited to: