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Care workers will soon be robots

9th August 2005

Care workers in Japan may soon have down-time instead of time-off because they will be robots.

The decreasing number of care workers in the country paired with an increasing population, has forced other options to be explored, such as robots, which could tend to a resident's needs.

A government report released in May said that the annual demand for non-factory 'service robots' could reach 1.1 trillion yen by 2015 because one in four Japanese people will be over the age of 65.

Researchers at Japan's University of Tsukuba have already developed a robotic suit, which is designed to make it easier for elderly people to move around or lift objects.

Sensors on the suit detect electric nerve signals transmitted from the brain when a person moves.

One company already selling a form of rehabilitation robot is Yaskawa Electric Corp, which has had a version on the shelves since 2000.

Its bedside robot assists the physical therapy of patients recovering from strokes or knee replacement surgery by helping them move their legs.

The robot costs around $30,000.