“Jennie” is a golden Labrador retriever dog that was created to help therapy patients, seniors, people diagnosed with dementia, and animal lovers who are unable to take care of a real pet.
Tombot is designed to emulate a live puppy’s appearance and behaviour
To improve the quality of life for people with health problems, it is essential for them to stay emotionally attached and socially engaged. While live animals can serve this role, that is not a safe or practical choice for everyone. Enter Tombot, the world’s most realistic robotic animal. Designed to emulate a live puppy’s appearance and behaviour, Tombot provides ongoing fun, happiness, and emotional support to those who really need it.
Your next furry friend could be a robot
Tombot Puppy CEO Tom Stevens this month unveiled his latest creation, a robotic dog named “Jennie”.
Jennie is a golden Labrador retriever dog that was created to help therapy patients, seniors, people diagnosed with dementia, and animal lovers who are unable to take care of a real pet.
After Stevens’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had to give up her beloved dog, Tom was inspired to design his own lifelike furry friend.
“My mom was devastated, so I started looking at substitutes for live animal companions,” Stevens told CBS This Morning.
Like a real puppy, Jennie wags her tail, barks, and responds to touch. She also provides unconditional love and emotional support—as long as her batteries stay charged.
Like a real puppy, Jennie wags her tail, barks, and responds to touch Studies show that robotic animal companions can reduce the need for psychotropic & antipsychotic meds by helping to reduce dementia behaviors. Tombot’s robotic emotional support animals are an invaluable tool for increasing social engagement, and for redirecting “challenging” behaviours. Source: Kickstarter/Tombot
Robotic pets and real animal therapy are on the rise
The line of Jennie robots is expected to be available for purchase in May 2020 and will cost $450 (£345/€400), according to Tombot’s Kickstarter page.
When compared to the pet expenses patients have to spend on real animals—such as routine veterinary visits, food, and toys—that initial cost might just be worth it. And compared to the $6400 cost of Paro’s robotic seal pup therapy robot, Jennie is a bargain.
Both robotic pets and real animal therapy are on the rise, thanks to technological advancements and the positive research that dogs, specifically, can improve your overall health.
According to a 2012 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, dogs help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
In addition to combating loneliness, being a pet owner can lead to lower blood pressure and decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
Even though Jennie isn’t technically real, patients can still cuddle and interact with her. And with those big eyes and lifelike expressions, it’s easy to see how patients fall in love with her.
Interacting with Tombot is easy and intuitive Tombot, or “Jennie”, has the appearance, movements, expressions and feel of a live pet. The robot follows your voice commands and responds to your touch. Bed and blanket are sold separately (these will be available in the future). Source: Kickstarter/Tombot
Jennie is a safe alternative to a real support pet Taking care of a pet can be hard for people who depend on others for their own daily affairs. When a live pet or emotional support animal is not safe or practical, Tombot can help! Source: Kickstarter/Tombot
Tombot collaborated with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for Jennie’s design Tombot turned to the Hollywood animatronic community for help. Tombot selected Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to provide the artistic design services for the prototype robots. Using groundbreaking technology, fabrics, and animatronic techniques, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop brought the Tombot to life with uniquely life-like expressions, behaviors, and quality. Source: Kickstarter/Tombot