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Animals have been found to have therapeutic benefits for us humans. One study even found that just 10 minutes with a dog showed a positive effect on people and reduced their pain levels, anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, many people can’t take care of their own four-legged friends. But now, robotic pets used as service animals are on the rise. What was once an expensive novelty is now a viable option for many therapy programs and even for normal pet owners.

Source: VICE News/Youtube

These mechanical dogs and cats can mimic genuine animal behavior and can be extremely effective in therapy programs. They’ve even been found to help dementia patients. These animals don’t need food or baths and don’t rack up expensive veterinary bills. NimB reported that the Pet Care Robotic Market is predicted to reach $3.65 billion by 2030.

Although robots may be seen as cold and unfeeling machines, these robot animals are getting more realistic. Studies have found that a robotic pet can have the same health benefits as a normal dog.

Mechanical pets have to be responsive to humans in key areas. They have to be designed to seek eye contact, remember faces, and learn how to respond to a name.

Tombot, is one of the most realistic robotic animals on the market today. The dog, Jennie, was designed to help patients, seniors, those diagnosed with dementia, or animal lovers who can’t have a live pet.

Source: Tombot/Youtube

Many companies are creating mechanical furry friends. Prices can go as high as $6,000, but when Tombot hits the market, they expect the dog to be priced at just $450.

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