ROBEAR Nursing Care Robot
ROBEAR is a new experimental nursing care robot, created by scientists from RIKEN and Sumitomo Riko Company Limited.
(ROBEAR nursing care robot)
Specifically, it includes actuator units with a very low gear ratio, allowing the joints to move very quickly and precisely, and allowing backdrivability, meaning that the force encountered by the actuators as they perform their tasks can be quickly fed back into the system, allowing softer movement. It also incorporates three types of sensors, including torque sensors and Smart Rubber capacitance-type tactile sensors made entirely of rubber, which allow for gentle movements, ensuring that the robot can perform power-intensive tasks such as lifting patients without endangering them.
The robot also improves on its predecessors by having a small base, making the total system more lightweight. It avoids falling over through the use of legs that can be extended when necessary for lifting a patient but retracted to allow the robot to maneuver through tight spaces such as doorways.
Regular Technovelgy readers might think that ROBEAR looks a bit familiar; I've covered his predecessor robots RIBA Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (2011) and RIBA-II (2012).
In the Japanese manga film Roujin Z, introduced in 1996, the Ministry of Health orders Takazawa Kijuro, an elderly bed-ridden man seemingly without family, to test a new robot - the Z-0001.
(Roujin-Z hospital bed/robot in profile, carrying patient)
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