Your Lonely Grandparents Can Now Get a Robot Retriever To Keep Them Company

Illustration for article titled Your Lonely Grandparents Can Now Get a Robot Retriever To Keep Them Company

Last year Hasbro wowed, and saddened us a little, with a new line of toys targeted at seniors in need of a companion, but without the need for all the mess that comes along with a pet. The first addition to its Joy For All line was a robotic cat, but it’s now being joined by a robotic golden retriever that any dog lover would spend hours playing with.

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Illustration for article titled Your Lonely Grandparents Can Now Get a Robot Retriever To Keep Them Company
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You can think of the Companion Pet Pup as a sort of Tamagotchi virtual pet for the retired, but without any buttons to press, or goals to chase. You can interact with the tiny golden retriever by either speaking to it, which causes the dog to look at you and respond with puppy-like sounds. Or you can stroke the hair along its back to trigger a soft heartbeat that can be felt while the toy is held close.

Illustration for article titled Your Lonely Grandparents Can Now Get a Robot Retriever To Keep Them Company

The Companion Pet Pup can’t walk around, which means it won’t be able to retrieve things or help with any chores. But it also won’t incessantly bark at the mail carrier every morning, and won’t trigger allergies, if you’ve always wanted a dog but would rather not live your life on antihistamines.

At $120 when it’s available this fall it’s certainly more expensive that a simple plush version of a golden retriever, but it’s much cheaper than owning a real dog, with part of the affectionate payoff.

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[Joy For All]

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DISCUSSION

thetruthsiren
thetruthsiren

We tested these with Alzheimer’s sufferers recently (including a cat, which was a huge hit). While it may seem sad to some here, many in mid to-late stages of Alz in our tests reacted very positively. Pets don’t always want to be touched or picked up, and they need to be fed and cared for. This can give comfort to people who may not be able to responsibly care for a pet.

Some of these people are almost inside a shell as their mind deteriorates. If a robot cat or dog makes them happy for so little money, it’s well worth it.

My coworker’s grandmother loved hers - she owned cats all of her life and it’s like it woke her up for the first time in 2 years. My grandmother was significantly more functional until the last 6 months of her life, when she didn’t understand much but still loved being around dogs.