Having an animal as a companion can be helpful for dealing with a whole range of psychological and physical health issues, especially among children. But not everyone is able to keep a pet. Now, a new study shows that spending time with a robotic dog as a companion can bring many of the same benefits as spending time with a real dog.
The research, performed at the University of Portsmouth, is published in the International Journal of Social Robotics. It found that when a group of 11- and 12-year-old children spent two sessions with the biomimetic MiRo-E robot dog, they experienced many of the same positive emotions as when they spent time with a real therapy dog.