New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

March 04, 2008

Robot as good as real dog at easing lonely hours

A friendly dog can make older people feel less isolated – and it appears to make little difference if that wagging tail belongs to a robot doggie or the real thing.

Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri compared a 16kg, floppy-eared mutt named Sparky with AIBO, a far-from-lifelike robot dog, to see how residents of three US nursing homes would respond.

"The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments," said Dr William Banks, a professor of geriatric medicine who worked on the study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. MORE>>

Oh oh... even a dog can be replaced. Well, perhaps it can fool older people, but not me :) But hey, if it does, that's great. At least they can bring them in old people's rest homes and not be a barking nuisance!

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