SilentOneNCW writes "The BBC has an article up about everyone's favourite creature — the robotic baby seal. This seal, called Paro, is fitted with sensors beneath its fur and whiskers that allow it to respond to petting. The idea is that by utilizing these sensors and flapping its arms, it can engage in therapy for older patients in nursing homes. It has won a service prize from the Japanese government sponsored Robot Awards 2006. The awards were set up earlier this year by the Japanese government to promote research and development in the robotics industry. Robots are widely used in Japan and are seen as a way to help deal with an aging population, maintaining the labour force and helping care for the elderly."