Friday, 05 Aug, 2011 Technology
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Latest Invention: Robotic Nurse to Help Caregivers

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The population of the land of the rising sun is steadily aging and according to statistics by 2015 approximately 5.69 million people will need nursing care.

Today, in order to bring an elderly patient from bed to a wheelchair, a caretaker has to lift him or her. This act is carried out on average 40 times per day, which is why a team of researchers from RIKEN decided to do something to help caregivers.

They came up with a robot called RIBA II (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) that can easily lift patients to bring them from bed to wheelchair and vice-versa.

The machine features joints found in its base and lower back that helps RIBA II to crouch and pick up a patient that lies on a floor-level Japanese futon (a rather common way of sleeping in Japan).

In order to avoid crushing one of its charges, the robot has been equipped with rubber tactile sensors. The latter can sense one's weight simply from touch.

The robot is expected to go on sale in 2015, wearing a price tag of about $78,000.

Click here to see the robot in action.

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