LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – You've heard everything about therapy dogs, but what about a therapy dog that's not a dog at all?
Welcome to the world of Robo-Dogs.
Jeff Nguyen of CBS2 / KCAL9 introduces Jennie, a robo dog who helps improve a man's life.
For Autumn Kerr it is sometimes an artificial touch when she makes her father Dennis smile.
"It looks and sounds like a dog to me," she says.
But Jennie is not, it's meant to help patients who are not interested in a real live pet.
Dennis has Parkinson's disease. Illness and has difficulty moving and speaking.
"She calms down, you can just stroke her, she's not active and everywhere, and sometimes pets can make her a bit wild," says Autumn.
Jennie feels like a dog.
"She's covered with touch sensors, she can feel how and where she's being touched," says Tom Stevens.
His company Tombot was founded after his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and her beloved dog had to be taken away.
"My mother was devastated So I started looking for spare parts for live animal companions," says Stevens.
Dr Maja Mataric of USC says therapy pets can help patients cope with loneliness, anxiety, and stress
show that people really thrive and feel better when they have some physical contact in their lives, "she says.
And there are also indications that robot mates can do the same. Jennie barks and wags her tail ̵
"Something like that would help him to keep his mind occupied and something else – to calm his body. I think it's a wonderful tool, "says Autumn.
Robo dogs will hit the market next year and cost about $ 450.
An interesting companion to the Robo-Dog: the synthetic fur became Created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, which produces "The Muppets."