“Unazuki Kabochan” or “Nodding Kabochan” is a hit to elderly people in a day-care facility for the elderly in Day Service Mirai, Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture in Japan. The pumpkin doll robot was produced by Pip Co. and has sold about 3,000 units since it was released seven months ago. It’s about 28 centimeters tall and wears green pumpkin-shaped pants.
The robot can interact with the elderly with its five different kinds of sensors installed it so it can respond to light, sounds and movements. It also speaks 400 phrases. A 91-year-old woman who comes to the center five days a week enjoys “talking with” the robot, modeled after a 3-year-old boy. She nods affectionately each time the little robot utters a phrase.
Yoshio Toza, the day-care center director, said, “A woman with dementia, who used to have a blank expression, has begun to smile and pat Kabochan on his head and nod at his words.” For the complete story check out Asahi Shimbun here.
Source: Asahi Shimbun