How to fight isolation in locked-down nursing homes? Friendly, furry robots.

Laughter, yips and purrs filled the halls of Eaton County Health & Rehabilitation Services on Thursday, rare sounds of delight in a nursing home where residents spent a year hunkered down as the coronavirus tore through Michigan.

They had robots to thank.

Thursday was “adoption day” at the Charlotte facility, where about 15 residents were paired with an animatronic cat or dog — furry, interactive tools that aging experts say can help fight the effects of isolation.