Robotic pets soon may offer more than comfort and companionship for senior living residents with dementia. Researchers are working on a prototype of a redesigned pet that could offer expanded capabilities related to care, and they hope to have a product ready for market next year.

The research by Claudia Rebola, Ph.D., and graduate students at the University of Cincinnati involves pilot studies and focus groups with senior living residents and caregivers at places such as Scarlet Oaks Retirement Community, part of the CCH Healthcare network, and Episcopal Retirement Services.