In 2008 a study found that therapy robot PARO soothed dementia patients and helped them communicate. Since then the DTI has become the European distributor of PARO and encouraged every Danish nursing home to buy one. So far Danish nursing homes have purchased 110 PAROs, mainly with public funds.
Ethical Recommendation on Social Robots
Denmark was one of the first countries in the world with recommendations on social robots. It started in 2007, when the Danish Council of Ethics launched a popular debate about new intelligent technologies through a campaign site. The debate unfolded later in the media and through a long series of debates that were arranged all over the country. After the debate, the Council publishing its considerations on social robots. The Council believes that the development of robots for use among people as everyday help, as entertainment or therapy is a development that in time will involve more and more ethical consideration, including some which are currently to difficult to foresee or describe. It is therefore important that robot technology is followed-up and commented upon from an ethical standpoint.
The recommendations on social robots cover four main topic:
- Social robots and welfare technology as elements of care and therapy
- Product responsibility and social robots
- When social robots pretend to have an inner life
- Social robots, monitoring and privacy