Japanese researchers have built a five-foot robot to sweep the elderly off their feet. A government-backed initiative has resulted in a robot
who that can see, hear, smell, and lift a fully-grown human being.
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Dubbed RI-MAN, the 220-pound robot can help the already-stretched healthcare workers who may need help moving handicapped or geriatric patients. Researchers also see a use for these robots beyond assisting old-timers:
“We would like to develop a capacity to detect a human’s health condition through [the robot’s] breath,” said one researcher.
Longer lives and a declining birth rate have made caring for the elderly both a priority, and a challenge for Japan. With the media age of Babyboomers quickly approaching 70, a similar issue is but a few years away for the West as well. Rosie may still be a wishful dream, but RI-MAN is a step towards a robotic future.[via Gizmodo]