Droid could enter healthcare workforce in future



A human-sized android was paraded in a public demonstration in the middle of last week in Tokyo, and it was proudly showing off its weightlifting skills to everybody by picking up a 30kg package from a desk as well as lifting a 66kg humanoid doll out of bed. I suppose this droid would definitely be a boon to nurses and healthcare providers worldwide, since plenty of patients these days are from the obese and overweight categories, leaving nurses no choice but to call for help when transporting these patients out of bed.

Professor Yasuo Kuniyoshi from the University of Tokyo is at the helm of this project, and his team of engineers were the ones who developed this 70kg robot that stands a proud 155cm tall. Recently, a software upgrade enabled it to move in a more human-like manner, courtesy of adjusting its arm movements based on data received from more than 1,800 tactile sensors embedded within its artificial skin. This sensor-based control system replaces older technology that uses large motors for a robot’s strength, enabling it to be used for household tasks safely.

The droid is capable of performing different maneuvers for various situations, using one arm to slide a 30kg package to the edge of a desktop and using the other arm to pick it up. When removing the 66kg dummy, it slid both arms under the body, applied a little pressure to lift it slightly, and backed away in a manner any normal human being would. All this and not a drop of sweat, although it would be mandatory to oil its parts once in a while. Professor Kuniyoshi has dreams that this robot’s ability will land it a job in the nursing care or moving industries sometime in the future.

Source: Pink Tentacle

One review or comment

GeoffnPat Says: March 31, 2008 at 2:09 am

Yeah this is great! We’ll have lotsa fun cleaning up robo-boy too when it becomes apparent that he can’t discern an incontinent patient…oopsy robo-boy stuck his arm in poop again!

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