Giant Teddy Bear Robot Can Pick People Up

With the elderly population of Japan increasing rapidly there is a great need for adequate nursing care. That’s why companies there have been developing robots to help care for older patients. The new Riba II robot resembles a giant teddy bear.
Developed by the Riken research center and Tokai Rubber Industries, the new Robot for Interactive Body Assistance can now lift patients weighing up to 176 pounds, better than its previous load limit of 134 pounds.

It can also bend down and deposit or pick up patients on the floor. This is useful in Japan, where people often sleep on futon floor bedding or relax on floor tatami mats.

Riken says caregivers on average lift patients from floor bedding into wheelchairs 40 times a day, adding that the elderly nursing-care population in Japan will hit 5.69 million by 2015.

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Well, with their deathlike fear/dislike of foreigners (they tried importing nurses from the Philippines - but that failed spectacularly due to their dislike of any non-japanese people touching them), and their lack of children to raise their own nurses, they don't have much choice but to build their robot caretakers for their aging population.
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Ratz:
176 pounds? Well, not all "Westerners" are heavier than that.

Hospital lifts are already built to pick up people of all weights, so this seems kind of useless.
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Japan's demographics are sad. Some old people even resort to renting younger people to visit them and chat, as if they were their children.
Coming to your neighborhood soon.
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Sadly it can only pick up people who weigh up to 12 stone. So no lifting westerners nor sumo wrestlers. Though maybe it can roll us around. If that's not a game I want to know why not!
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