Palo the robotic seal was recently displayed at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo. The furry little bastard is capable of learning the name you give it, talking, and reacting to touch. Which isn't too impressive. But it was designed to "help elderly people avoid loneliness and develop connections with others by interacting and talking to the robot." Well if that isn't the saddest damn thing I've heard in a long time then I don't know what is. If I ever get so old that the only "connecting" I can do is with a robotic stuffed animal I hope somebody has the decency to transplant my brain into a new body.
Robot Seal Designed to Take Care of Old People [therawfeed]