In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?

September 28, 2020

(The New York Times) – Knowing that her mother couldn’t manage pet care, even if the residence had permitted animals, Dr. Spangler looked online for the robotic pets she had heard about. She found a fluffy puppy with sensors that allow it to pant, woof, wag its tail, nap and awaken; a user can feel a simulated heartbeat. Unable to deliver the robot personally, she asked a staff member to take it inside. In a subsequent video chat, Dr. Spangler learned that her mother had named the robot dog Dumbo.