PARO Robots U.S. Inc. Brings Hi-Tech Friends to Life

Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:42am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ITASCA, Ill., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The reorganization of PARO Robots
U.S., Inc., and relocation to the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois was announced
today by Takanori Shibata, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist of Japan's
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST),
inventor of the PARO therapeutic service robot, and representatives of the
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The company is responsible for
sales and maintenance service of the PARO therapeutic service robots in the
United States.
    The PARO robot is designed to look like an adorable baby harp seal.
Covered in pure white synthetic fur, the built-in intelligence provides
psychological, physiological, and social effects through physical interaction
with human beings. PARO not only imitates animal behavior, it also responds to
light, sound, temperature, touch and posture, and over time develops its own
character. As a result, it becomes a "living" cherished pet that provides
relaxation, entertainment, and companionship to the owner. It is perfect for
those who cannot take care of real animals and those who live in places where
live animals are prohibited, including hospitals, elder care centers and
nursing homes. PARO first went on sale in Japan in March 2005.
    The first production lot of 300 PAROs for US market will be available in
January of 2009 at the list price of US$6,000. The company will start taking
orders on December 1, by phone, fax or e-mail.
    With a long list of awards for Dr. Shibata and PARO, including the
certification from the Guinness World Record organization as the "World's Most
Therapeutic Robot," PARO is recognized as one of the most sophisticated
therapeutic robots. Over 1,000 PARO robots are being used worldwide with
clinically documented results proving PARO's ability to mitigate the
debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, and
emotional complications stemming from the prolonged recovery associated with
severe injury and illness.
    The newly organized company is headed by Mr. Akiteru Tsuji. Mr. Tsuji will
lead the sales and distribution team in the US, expand the journey of Dr.
Shibata's robot therapeutic service, and bring comfort and therapeutic
companionship to benefit the US health care community.
    About PARO Robots U.S., Inc.
    Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, PARO Robots U.S., Inc. was founded by
Sugino Machine Ltd., Japan and Intelligent Systems Co. Ltd., Japan.; and will
serve as North America sales and distribution center for PARO products.  For
more information, please visit http://www.parorobots.com.
    Contact: Christine Hsu, General Manager, 866-980-PARO, 630-467-1044, or
email at info@parorobots.us.
    About JETRO
    JETRO has provided information and support to American companies entering
the Japanese market for over 50 years. Through a local network of six offices
in the United States, JETRO provides a wide-range of services, such as timely
market intelligence, extensive business development support, and relevant
business events, all designed to encourage business partnerships between
American companies and Japan.
    Contact: Kevin Kalb, Project Coordinator, 312-832-6023, or
kevin_kalb@jetro.go.jp.
    Event Information
    CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Las Vegas, NV, January 8-11, 2009
    Two PAROs are going to Las Vegas to meet people at CES from January 8
through 11. Please visit the JETRO booth at the Robotic TechZone (Sands Expo,
Booth # 72238).    CES Conference Session: Japan's Robotics (R)Evolution
    Dr. Yasuhiro Ota, Toyota Robotics; Dr. Takanori Shibata, AIST
    Saturday, January 10, 2009, 10:00-10:45 a.m.
    The Venetian, Lando 4201-4202

SOURCE  PARO Robots U.S., Inc.

Christine Hsu, General Manager, 1-866-980-PARO, +1-630-467-1044,
info@parorobots.us
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