The 'Therabot' will be a tool used in the future as a substitute for animal assisted therapy. Instead, the Therabot has the positive qualities of a dog, without having to deal with possible allergies or physical threats.
Therabots act like dogs and respond to people's physical cues with nuzzles and sounds. Although they look like a stuffed animal, the Therabot is equipped with immense technological capabilities. Its movement resembles a dog and can move its head, body and joints. Fur is replaced with conductive fabric, which cues the Therabot on how to respond to certain types of touch.
Dr. Cindy Bethel, who is behind the project, hopes that the Therabot will be a less expensive alternative compared to actual animal assisted therapy. The Therabot prototype has been created, but is still undergoing research and changes. Bethel hopes that the Therabot will be just one element of a bigger treatment plan for PTSD patients and survivors of abuse.