Saturday, December 18, 2021

Robear, the robot that takes care of the elderly



Robear robot

In the first world countries there is an increasing number of elderly people, as well as an increase in human life expectancy, owing to medical advancements and improved quality of life. Not unexpectedly, RIKEN and Sumitomo Riko Company Limited in Japan have developed the Robear, an experimental nursing robot that combines modern robotics with a fairly attractive design.

Robear is a robot companion for the elderly or those who have difficulty moving around. Its specialization is simple, but vital: transporting patients to and from bed with the help of a human. Carrying the weight of patients is one of the most difficult responsibilities for nursing personnel, and it often causes substantial back discomfort. Robear is a collaborative robot that comes to people's aid to alleviate them of their load.

Riken's Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA) and RIBA II, two assistive robots that were introduced in 2009 and 2011, respectively, are the inspiration for this robot. They were created by Nagoya's RIKEN-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Robot Interaction, and feature a cartoon-like head and design.

It has evolved and undergone various changes since its debut in 2009, including a reduction in structural weight (from 230 kilos in the second iteration to the current 140 kilos) and the size of its base. The Japanese robot has extensible legs that keep it from falling when lifting a patient and provide additional stability, and retract when not in use.

These robots have the potential to not only compensate for the scarcity of carers, but also to assist human personnel with difficult and heavy duties like pulling a patient out of bed and into a wheelchair. Robear is 140 kg, while its predecessor, the RIBA-II, is 230 kg. Robear's foundation, unlike previous models, is smaller but more sturdy, thanks to a set of detachable legs that may be deployed to maintain balance when needed or to make it invisible when in motion. Furthermore, the mechanism of its joints is faster and more sensitive, resulting in smoother movements, among other things, to aid patients in getting up, moving, and so on.

Thanks to the installation of a variety of sensors, its joints can move rapidly and precisely while also executing smoother movements. "We sincerely believe that this robot will lead to advancements in nursing care, alleviating the load on today's carers," Toshiharu Mukai, the project's research team leader, said.

This is not, however, the last model to be developed; according to its creators, they are already working on robots with enhanced capabilities for the care of the old or sick in hospitals, among other applications.

 Article Author Gerluxe Image: sohu

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