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Friday, 17th February 2012
In General Japan News,

Robotic seals soothing tsunami victims

Cute robotic seals are being given to survivors of the Japan tsunami to help them overcome depression.

The high-tech creations are helping provide valuable affection for people who have been made homeless or lost their pets in the disaster, AFP reported.

In the same way that toy robotic animals work, the 'Paro' seals are cute and fluffy and respond to humans, interacting with gurgling noises and waving their fins.

Particularly popular with children, the seals have been given to people forced to live in temporary accommodation at a baseball stadium in Kesennuma.

Kosei Oyama, a ten-year-old who has one of the seals, told the news agency that because of the tsunami he has fewer toys to play with now.

"It's so cute. It coos when I rub it," he said.

For housewife Tsuyako Kumagai, 47, Paro is a great substitute for pets that got lost when the tsunami struck.

"Many of my neighbours don't want to have new pets because they don't want to remember," she told an AFP reporter.

Scientists in Japan recently created a robot that can mimic the actions of a human controller, who wears a special suit to control the machine.

Written by Kimberley Homer