Can Robot Dogs Help People with Alzheimer’s?
Could a robot dog help people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia?
American entrepreneur Tom Stevens thinks so. He recently presented a test version of a yellow Labrador puppy to residents of a nursing home in the American state of California.
To develop the device, Stevens' company Tombot worked with Jim Henson's Creature Shop, a company established by the famous creator of the Muppets.
"It didn't just have to look real and feel realistic but it had to behave realistically as well," Stevens said about the robot puppy.
Stevens believes the Tombot dog, which moves its head from side to side and wags its tail, can help people with dementia. It also is easier to care for than a real dog, he said.
The robot has 16 motors to control its movements and has sensors that cause it to respond to voice commands and detect how people are touching it.
Stevens said he came up with the idea for the robot after his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011.
"Of the many bad days that we had early on, by far the worst was when I had to take away her dog," Stevens said.
Stevens had a background in investing in robotics and he wondered whether the technology could help people like his mother.
His test version has the name "Jenny." The puppy cannot walk and is carried on a small bed.
At the Sage Mountain nursing home in Thousand Oaks, where many residents suffer from dementia and other memory-related illnesses, petting the robot put smiles on people's faces during a visit last month.
Jenny has visited the facility a number of times.
"The dog is very interactive, the tail wagging, responding to them calling her name," said Caroline Gibson, a spokeswoman for the nursing home. She added that it was "really amazing" to see the nursing home's residents feel at ease.
Tombot plans to have its first commercial sales of its robot dogs in 2020.
It will enter a robot dog market that includes Sony's Aibo, among others.
P&S Market Research estimates that the market for personal robots may reach over $30 billion by 2022.
I'm John Russell.
1.by far 目前
The economy is the number one issue by far.
2.came up with 提出
I came up with this dumb idea.
3.from side to side 左右摇摆
His body rocked from side to side with the train.
4.the nursing home 疗养院；养老院
The Matron at the nursing home expressed a wish to attend.
5.Jenny has visited the facility a number of times.
a number of 一些
We have lived here quite a number of years.
The police rounded up a number of suspects.
6.She added that it was "really amazing" to see the nursing home's residents feel at ease.
feel at ease 感到轻松
I won't feel at ease until you come back safely.
I don't feel at ease in the strange place.
美国企业家汤姆·史蒂文斯（Tom Stevens）认为可以 。近期，他向美国加州一家养老院的居民展示了一只测试版黄色拉布拉多犬 。
为了开发这一设备，斯蒂文斯的Tombot公司与吉姆·汉森（Jim Henson）的生物商店(Jim Henson's creatures Shop)合作，这家公司是由著名的布偶制作家创办的 。
史蒂文斯相信，Tombot的宠物狗可以帮助痴呆症患者 。这种机器狗可以左右摆动头部和尾巴 。他说，这种狗也比养一只真正的狗容易多了 。
他的测试版宠物狗名叫“珍妮” 。这只小狗无法走路，只能呆在一张小床上 。
在千橡市圣贤山养老院，许多居民都患有痴呆症或其他与记忆有关的疾病 。上个月，在参展期间，抚摸机器狗让他们的脸上露出了笑容 。
该养老院的女发言人卡罗琳·吉布森表示：“这只小狗很会互动，会摇尾巴，主人叫它名字时会回应 。”她补充说，看到养老院的居民自在惬意，感觉“真的很神奇” 。