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Japanese inventor wins $250,000 Ryman Prize for dementia-aiding seal robot

Japanese inventor wins $250,000 Ryman Prize for dementia-aiding seal robot

A Japanese inventor was presented with a $250,000 grant by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today for his pioneering work improving the health of older people with a device programmed to mimic a seal.

Professor Takanori Shibata, chief senior research scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan, was presented with the annual Ryman Prize at a Birkenhead retirement village for his work to ease the burden of older people suffering from dementia.

The prize is an international award for the best work carried out anywhere in the world which has enhanced quality of life for older people. It was introduced by former Prime Minister John Key in 2015 and was established as an equivalent of a Nobel Prize.

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