PARO Robots U.S. Inc.  Brings Hi-Tech Friends to Life
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 30, 2008

Social welfare robot PARO to go on sale in U.S beginning January 2009 from PARO Robots U.S., the North America sales and distribution center for PARO products.  PARO also to be highlighted at CES Robotics TechZone at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The reorganization of PARO Robots U.S., Inc., and relocation to the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois was announced by Takanori Shibata, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), inventor of the PARO therapeutic service robot, and representatives of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).  The company is responsible for sales and maintenance service of the PARO therapeutic service robots in United States.

The PARO robot is designed to look like an adorable baby harp seal.  Covered in pure white synthetic fur, the built-in intelligence provides psychological, physiological, and social effects through physical interaction with human beings.  PARO not only imitates animal behavior, it also responds to light, sound, temperature, touch and posture, and over time develops its own character.  As a result, it becomes a “living” cherished pet that provides relaxation, entertainment, and companionship to the owner.  It is perfect for those who cannot take care of real animals and those who live in places where live animals are prohibited, including hospitals, elder care centers and nursing homes.  PARO first went on sale in Japan in March 2005.

First production lot of 300 PAROs for US market will be available in January of 2009 at the list price of $6,000 USD.  The company will begin taking orders on December 1, by phone, fax or e-mail.

With a long list of awards for Dr. Shibata and PARO, including the certification from the Guinness World Record organization as the ‘World’s Most Therapeutic Robot’, PARO is recognized as one of the most sophisticated therapeutic robots.  Over 1,000 PARO robots are being used worldwide with clinically documented results proving PARO’s ability to mitigate the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, and emotional complications stemming from the prolonged recovery associated with severe injury and illness.

The newly organized company is headed by Mr. Akiteru Tsuji.  Mr. Tsuji will lead the sales and distribution team in US, expand the journey of Dr. Shibata’s robot therapeutic service, and bring comfort and therapeutic companionship to benefit the US health care community.

About PARO Robots U.S., Inc.
Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, PARO Robots U.S., Inc. was founded by Sugino Machine Ltd., Japan and Intelligent Systems Co.  Ltd., Japan.; and will serve as North America sales and distribution center for PARO products.  For more information, please visit http://www.parorobots.com.
Contact: Christine Hsu, General Manager, P:866-980-PARO, E:info@parorobots.us.

About JETRO
JETRO has provided information and support to American companies entering the Japanese market for over 50 years.  Through a local network of six offices in the United States, JETRO provides a wide-range of services, such as timely market intelligence, extensive business development support, and relevant business events, all designed to encourage business partnerships between American companies and Japan.

Contact
Kevin Kalb
Project Coordinator
P:312-832-6023
E:kevin_kalb@jetro.go.jp

Event Information
Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
Las Vegas, NV, January 8-11th, 2009

Two PAROs are going to Las Vegas for meeting people at CES from January 8 through 11.  Please visit the JETRO booth at the Robotic TechZone (Sands Expo, Booth # 72238).

CES Conference Session:  Japan’s Robotics (R)Evolution
- Dr. Yasuhiro Ota, Toyota Robotics
- Dr. Takanori Shibata, AIST
When: Saturday, January 10th, 2009, 10:00-10:45am
Where: The Venetian, Lando 4201-4202

About PARO Robots U.S., Inc.
Headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, PARO Robots U.S., Inc. was founded by Sugino Machine Ltd., Japan and Intelligent Systems Co.  Ltd., Japan.; and will serve as North America sales and distribution center for PARO products.  For more information, please visit http://www.parorobots.com.
Contact: Christine Hsu, General Manager, P:866-980-PARO, E:info@parorobots.us.

About JETRO
JETRO has provided information and support to American companies entering the Japanese market for over 50 years.  Through a local network of six offices in the United States, JETRO provides a wide-range of services, such as timely market intelligence, extensive business development support, and relevant business events, all designed to encourage business partnerships between American companies and Japan.

Contact
Kevin Kalb
Project Coordinator
P:312-832-6023
E:kevin_kalb@jetro.go.jp

Event Information
Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
Las Vegas, NV, January 8-11th, 2009

Two PAROs are going to Las Vegas for meeting people at CES from January 8 through 11.  Please visit the JETRO booth at the Robotic TechZone (Sands Expo, Booth # 72238).

CES Conference Session:  Japan’s Robotics (R)Evolution
- Dr. Yasuhiro Ota, Toyota Robotics
- Dr. Takanori Shibata, AIST
When: Saturday, January 10th, 2009, 10:00-10:45am
Where: The Venetian, Lando 4201-4202

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