Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Japan to promote robots for nursing home care"

There are at least four story lines converging in this article.
From the Yomiuri Shimbun via the Bangor Daily News:
The Japanese government plans to extend financial assistance to help firms develop low-cost nursing care robots with a price tag of about 100,000 yen ($1,020) as a major feature of its economic growth strategy, government sources said.

Such robots with limited functions are designed to assist elderly people in daily activities and reduce the burden of nursing care workers.

The government hopes to revise nursing care insurance coverage to include the use of these robots, which could make rental charges as low as several hundred yen per month, the sources added.
Four kinds of nursing care robots are included in the plan:
  • A motorized robot suit that can assist in lifting or moving elderly and otherwise impaired patients so that caretakers do not need to exert as much physical strength.
  • An ambulatory robot that can help the elderly and others walk by themselves, even on inclines.
  • A portable, self-cleaning robot toilet that can be placed in living rooms or bedrooms to make using the toilet easier for the e lderly and others.
  • A monitoring robot that can track the movements and whereabouts of dementia patients.
Starting this fiscal year, the government is providing subsidies covering one-half to two-thirds of research and development costs to firms working on nursing care robots. Such subsidies are set to total 2.4 billion yen this fiscal year alone....MORE