Seniors who are at risk for the negative effects of social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic were given robotic animals through a special program.

The Alabama Department of Senior Services has funded the purchase of 40 robotic pets to help reduce the risks of isolation for the seniors residing in the West Alabama Area Agency on Aging.

Robotic pets are becoming wildly popular among senior homes. The National Science Foundation even awarded Brown a $1 million grant in collaboration with Hasbro to develop robot pets to help seniors with simple yet challenging tasks, like fetching eyeglasses or reminding to take medication.

Researchers from the Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support (ARIES) project say the “smart” pets can be extremely helpful to individuals with mild dementia.

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