Paro is a social robot in the form of a young seal. Social robots are the class of robots developed for the improvement of human communication and interaction. This is done by the use of specific robots that are attractive and encourage the interaction between man and machine. After a prolonged period this often results in better interaction and awareness during the day – also in the absence of this robot. Social robots take many forms, but Paro, which has the shape of a baby harp seal, is a well-known product that sets the present standards.

Paro was initially designed for persons that are challenged with dementia in Japan. Children or persons with autism now deploy it worldwide, also with other user groups like persons with mental or cognitive disorders. But in fact almost anybody likes Paro because of its authentic and overwhelming behavior.

Dealing with Paro provides moments with an improved contact and an increased communication. Such moments often result into an increased alertness and communication. Dealing with Paro can also be seen as experiencing quality time and experiencing relaxation, as happens in sensory therapy.

Through real-life, authentic behavior of Paro, the deployment of this seal is also very close to animal therapy. However, timely feeding and taking it for a walk will not be necessary. Paro does not replace other therapies or human attention, but adds extras to the daily lives, which is only possible with very modern and smart technology.

Paro usage

Paro as device is a complex robot - although the user does not see this and above all experiences the seal as an almost living being. Paro has numerous sensors and small actuators. Under the fur are sensors that react to sound and voice (e.g. Paro learns to know its users), light (day-night rhythm), temperature, movement (lifting, rocking), press (petting, hugging) or are connected with the whiskers. The sensors work together and let the head, flippers or eyelashes respond in an endearing way that convinces almost anyone. But Paro is more; it can lift its head up and cries like a real young seal. Paro is made with great attention to detail.

Paro comes in a white version in a robust box with manual, power supply with pacifier and battery pack. Focal provides service and warranty according to Dutch conditions. Through the extensive experience as a developer and supplier of healthcare robotics, Focal is able to perform any repairs or servicing in-house.

Currently, there are no user experiences described for Paro




For Paro, no downloadable documentation is available.


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