Do robots have a role in dementia care?

From Alien to Terminator, Blade Runner to The Matrix — science fiction has long taught us never to trust robots, androids or cyborgs.

But surely even Sigourney Weaver would be won over by Paro, a cuddly robotic baby seal designed to improve quality of life in dementia.

Researchers hope the $9000 mechanised harp seal will ease agitation among elderly patients and reduce the need for restraints in aged care facilities.

Weighing in at 3kg, and covered in tiny tactile sensors, Paro (pictured right with Professor Wendy Moyle and Nancy Greenless)