We’re all pretty much resigned to the fact that robots are eventually taking over, right? Well Japan is looking to speed up that process by leaving its most vulnerable citizens — the elderly — in the caring (murderous) hands of robot teddy bears:
This particular robot is called ROBEAR and was created by RIKEN. It can lift and carry a person, or help them stand and provide support while walking. It weighs 140kg and has low gear ratio actuators that allow its joints to move quickly, smoothly and precisely. ‘Smart Rubber’ sensors also allow the robot to “feel” (uh oh) which means it knows to take it easy when handling a patient (until it develops a mind of its own and kills them in their sleep).
With fewer children being born in Japan, the elderly population is growing while the younger population is shrinking. Hence there are less young people around to look after the elderly, which is where the robots come in.
A spokesperson said:
We really hope that this robot will lead to advances in nursing care, relieving the burden on care-givers today. We intend to continue with research toward more practical robots capable of providing powerful yet gentle care to elderly people.
So innocent, so naÃ¯ve. Looks we won’t need an actual zombie invasion to make use of our zombie apocalypse bunker in the near future.