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Seal wins its prize

A robotic baby seal scooped the top prize in a government-sponsored competition in Japan celebrating robotic innovation, according to a report on BBC News.

Paro, which is fitted with sensors beneath its fur and whiskers that allow it to respond to petting, was voted best robot at the country’s Robot Awards.

The robotic device is used in nursing homes in the country to provide therapy for the country’s aging population. Nearly 195 of the 130 million people that live in Japan are aged 65 and over and this number is expected to reach 40% by 2055.

The awards were set up by the Japanese government to promote research and development in the robotics industry.

Other robots to win prizes at the ceremony include a giant vacuum cleaner and a feeding machine.