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.