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PARO is modeled after a baby harp seal. PARO is covered with soft artificial fur to make people feel comfortable, as if they are touching a real animal.
A baby harp seal spends most of the day sleeping. However, PARO has a diurnal rhythm of morning, daytime, and night. For example, PARO is active during the daytime, but gets sleepy at night. PARO has five kinds of sensors: tactile, light, audition, temperature, and posture sensors, with which it can perceive people and its environment. With the light sensor, PARO can recognize light and dark. He feels being stroked and beaten by tactile sensor, or being held by the posture sensor. PARO can also recognize the direction of voice and words such as its name, greetings, and praise with its audio sensor.