It’s a fact. Pets make us healthier.
But what about robot pets?
Hasbro has now come out with two robotic pet companions, a dog and a cat, designed to keep older adults company. Recode decided to spend some time with the latest animatronic animals, and we took questions from our readers on Facebook Live.
The idea isn’t new. Paro, the baby robotic seal that had a cameo in Aziz Ansari’s show “Master of None” made its public debut in 2001. And Sony had a robotic dog in 1999, Aibo, that reportedly sold 150,000 units in Japan by 2006.
Worldwide, the population of elderly adults is set to double by 2050, and all kinds of companies are developing robots to assist the growing demographic.
Toyota’s research lab, for example, has been working on robotics for home assistance, like a robot to fetch things for people who are bedridden, a wheelchair that can climb stairs and an exoskeleton for the lower leg. Honda’s robotics division created Asimo, a humanoid for helping people around the house.
Hasbro’s robo-pets aren’t as helpful as any of these, but they are pretty cute.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.