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Monday, August 08, 2011

Japanese Elderly Care Assisting Robot


Researchers at Japanese RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research and Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI) have developed RIBA-II, the next generation care-assisting robot using high-precision tactile sensors and flexible motor control technology that takes Japan one step closer to its goal of providing high-quality care for its growing elderly population. The new robot can lift a patient up to 80 kgs in weight off floor-level bedding and into a wheelchair, freeing care facility personnel of one of their most difficult and energy-consuming tasks.

With an elderly population in need of nursing care projected to reach a staggering 5.69 million by 2015, Japan faces an urgent need for new approaches to assist care-giving personnel. One of the most strenuous tasks for such personnel, carried out an average of 40 times every day, is that of lifting a patient from a futon at floor level into a wheelchair. Robots are well-suited to this task, yet none have yet been deployed in care-giving facilities.
Watch a video demonstration at http://youtu.be/wyNa7b4eHRo

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