LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists estimate as many as 97 percent of seniors with dementia suffer from behavioral and psychological symptoms of the disease (BPSD), and studies have shown that such symptoms can be reduced if they can form an emotional attachment, particularly to an object or animal. Looking to make a significant difference in helping seniors struggling with dementia, Tombot, Inc., (https://www.tombot.com), has created a realistic robotic animal companion that provides seniors with a stronger sense of control, connectedness, and purpose, ultimately reducing their symptoms, the need for psychotropic medications, and improving their overall quality of life.
Following multiple rounds of consumer testing with groups of up to 700 seniors with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, the team at Tombot concluded that a robotic animal with a hyper-realistic appearance, feel and behaviors had the highest capacity to elicit an emotional attachment with seniors suffering from these debilitating diseases. To achieve that level of realism, Tombot realized a whole new type of robot would need to be invented. Tombot selected Jim Henson's world-renowned Creature Shop to provide the artistic design services for their robots. You can check out a full interview about Tombot with CEO and Founder Tom Stevens and the Jim Henson Creature Shop team at the following link: https://www.tombot.com/Puppies.
Innovation has been a hallmark of the Jim Henson brand. Drawing upon their Academy Award-winning animatronics skills, Jim Henson's Creature Shop wonderfully captured Tombot's vision, creating a Labrador puppy fit for the big screen. The Tombot robotics team then brought the puppy to life, with a full suite of sensors and inventing software control systems to make the puppy both autonomous and fully interactive.
Tombot Puppies are designed to be effective substitutes for live animal companions in providing all the benefits of a live animal without the burden of care, the risk of bites, allergic reactions, or infections.
"Virtually all of Tombot's investors have (or had) loved ones with dementia. Through these interactions, we have come to appreciate that the benefits we are delivering aren't just for seniors with dementia, but also for those most responsible for their ongoing care and well-being," said Stevens.
Distinguishing features of a Tombot Puppy include:
- Realistic Appearance: A user-friendly design that is authentic to a real dog's anatomy. Tombot Puppies look, feel and move in a hyper-realistic way, far exceeding anything currently available in the animal robotics space.
- Lifelike Expressions & Behavior: Software control system that allows the robot to respond to users in a manner consistent with how a real dog would respond.
- Response to Voice Commands: Voice recognition system that listens to commands and responds accordingly.
- Affordability: Roughly one-fifteenth the price of the Paro robot, the next best robot in the dementia space.
- Easy Charging: Provides all-day battery life with a cord that plugs in for overnight charging.
Tombot Robotics has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Tombot, (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tombot/tombot-affordable-robotic-companion-animals-for-se ), to spread awareness about their new robotic puppy.
Tombot's mission is to improve the quality of life of seniors with dementia. With a team that has more than 100 years combined experience in high-tech, consumer electronics, and robotics, they are creating a unique, emotional object in its robotic animal companion to help seniors better cope with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.