Robear is a robotic bear that may look after the aged
It is 2024. An older Japanese gentleman needs to observe the Worldwide Area Station’s closing ceremony, however he cannot get away from bed. No drawback! All he has to do is name Robear to assist him rise up. Sure, that is his caregiver’s identify, however you see, Robear is not human: it is a bear-like robotic. This machine is definitely the third and newest iteration of the beary useful caregiver robotic being developed by Japanese analysis institute Riken. The primary mannequin introduced in 2009 was referred to as RIBA, adopted by RIBA-II in 2011, although Riken additionally got here out with a Pillsbury Doughboy-like mannequin approach again in 2006 referred to as RI-MAN. Robear weighs 309 kilos, making it quite a bit lighter than its 507-pound predecessor. It additionally has new options that guarantee it is gentler and extra cautious whereas carrying sufferers to/from their beds or wheelchairs than the older variations.
Particularly, it consists of actuator models with a really low gear ratio, permitting the joints to maneuver in a short time and exactly, and permitting backdrivability, which means that the drive encountered by the actuators as they carry out their duties could be shortly fed again into the system, permitting softer motion. It additionally incorporates three varieties of sensors, together with torque sensors and Sensible Rubber capacitance-sort tactile sensors made totally of rubber, which permit for mild actions, making certain that the robotic can carry out energy-intensive duties reminiscent of lifting sufferers with out endangering them.
The institute is hoping that its creation may help individuals, notably the aged, regain some independence, because it provides them the facility to maneuver round the home with out one other individual’s help. For Japan, which has an growing older inhabitants, a robotic carer does not sound like such an outrageous concept, even when it does look a bit like a homicidal bear.