Japan engages Toyota robots to manage aged care staff crisis

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Japan’s population over 65 now totals 30 million people – 25% of its citizens – and includes 51,000 people over 100 years of age. Attempts to utilise nursing staff from the Philippines and Indonesia have largely failed due to cultural and political barriers. Domestic robots have become a serious solution and are already a $1.8 billion business in Japan alone. Car manufacturer Toyota believes aged care will be ‘an extremely large market’ for it. They have just released their 130cm tall Human Support Robot which is controlled by a tablet computer. A ‘robot butler’, it will pick items up and bring them to a patient’s bed while avoiding obstacles.
Cyberdyne’s Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) body suit photographed, can increase the wearer’s body strength tenfold. It is being used in over 130 facilities in Japan to help the rehabilitation of stroke victims. The company rents them at $2,000 per month. Japan also utilises ‘conversation’ robots to provide company to lonely elderly people.