Toyota demonstrates robot to make elderly people walk faster

A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai
A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai

By Naomi Tajitsu, Reuters

Japanese automakers are looking beyond the industry trend to develop self-driving cars and turning their attention to robots to help keep the country’s rapidly graying society on the move.

Toyota said it saw the possibility of becoming a mass producer of robots to help the elderly in a country whose population is ageing faster than the rest of the world as the birthrate decreases.

The country’s changing demographics place its automakers in a unique situation. Along with the issues usually associated with falling populations such as labor shortages and pension squeezes, Japan also faces dwindling domestic demand for cars.

Toyota, the world’s second largest automaker, made its first foray into commercializing rehabilitation robots on Wednesday, launching a rental service for its walk assist system, which helps patients to learn how to walk again after suffering strokes and other conditions.  Continue reading Toyota demonstrates robot to make elderly people walk faster

Singapore: ‘From successful city to smart nation’

Singapore is a city state which blends tradition and modernity.

Now, authorities are looking to take the next step and go from being a successful city to a smart nation.

Among the many technology initiatives the authorities have embarked on is to introduce robots into the lives of elderly people, as well as teach them how to use computers to basic and advanced levels.

This video shows a robot designed to guide elderly residents through a series of exercises to help maintain them in the best possible health, and computer classes.

Panasonic to turn industrial workers and elderly into robots

panasonic exoskeletons
Panasonic exoskeletons – or ‘power suits’ – for industrial workers

Company launches exoskeletons and personal care robots, and calls for ‘smiling faces and laughter’ from old people

Panasonic has shown off a range of newly developed exoskeletons and personal care robots. Some are designed to be worn by industrial workers to help them lift objects with less effort. Others are programmed to make old people laugh, says the company.

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The “power assist suits”, as the company calls them, were developed by Activelink, one of Panasonic’s in-house venture companies, and are aimed at industrial workers.

Hiromichi Fujimoto, president of Activelink, suggests the suits could help people become more like robots, which, he implies, would make the world a better place. Continue reading Panasonic to turn industrial workers and elderly into robots