It's already become a star in Japan, and it now looks like the therapeutic Paro robot is about to make its US debut at long last. That'll officially happen at the Robo Business Conference and Expo in Pittsburgh this week, after which the bots will be available "shortly" for $5,000 apiece directly from a new joint venture set up by Japan's Intelligent System Co. and Walter Weisel, a former head of the Robotic Industries Association of the United States. As in Japan, it'll apparently be primarily targeted at nursing care facilities, but we can't help but think that at least a few of the critters will find their way into the hands of some slightly more mischievous individuals as well.

[Via Far East Gizmos]