Skip to main content

Robot bear will help Japan’s ageing population

Japan's population is aging, meaning that in the coming decades more people will require care, and there will be less people to provide it.

That's why RIKEN and Sumitomo Riko Company Limited have developed Robear, an experimental nursing care robot.

But in reality we all know that Japan just likes to make robots and the 'aging population' thing is just an excuse. Japan, you don't need excuses.

Robear is a robot that combines advanced robotics and a non-threatening design. Non-threatening meaning it has the face of a bear icon from your Facebook Messenger.

Robear is based on Riken's Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA) (unveiled in 2009), and RIBA II assistance robots (unveiled in 2011).

It was developed by the RIKEN-SRK Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research in Nagoya, and designed to look as friendly as possible, so that Bill Gates and others terrified of artificial intelligence would have no traumatic experiences in their old age.

The tasks which Robear will be assigned to will be mostly lifting the patients out of bed and into a wheelchair (probably a hundred times a day), helping them stand up, or turning them around to prevent bed sores.

The robot weighs 140 kg (308 lb).

"We really hope that this robot will lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on caregivers today," says Toshiharu Mukai, leader of the Robot Sensor Systems Research Team. "We intend to continue with research toward more practical robots capable of providing powerful yet gentle care to elderly people."