Takanori Shibata is the creator of Paro, a therapeutic robot in the form of a warm and fuzzy harp seal, well known for comforting Fukushima survivors. It has been used in palliative care for cancer patients and training of social skill of children with developmental disorders. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ertified Paro as a “neurological therapeutic medical devic.”Shibata is the chief senior research scientist at the Human Informatics Research Institute with AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science of Technology.
Shibata was introduced by Hiroko Harada, a professor of Japanese and coordinator, advisor and director of the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture.
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