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Robots helping with elderly care in aging Japan

25 Comments
By Malcolm Foster

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Cyberdyne Inc's HAL - short for Hybrid Assistive Limb - lumbar type is a powered back support that helps caregivers lift people.

I know this is a real thing but everytime I hear about it I'm reminded of shiny metal robots and crazy A.I.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing beats the heartfelt interaction with a real caring human being and canine.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Cyberdyne Inc's HAL - short for Hybrid Assistive Limb - lumbar type is a powered back support that helps caregivers lift people.

Just wait until they get to the Model 101, 800 series. That'll lift some people!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Amazing news! These robot are fluent in Japanese,need take no tests,and embraced by the senior citizen in Japan. I have met them working in my bank,and they are friendly and popular.

Old people are confortable with them.This technology is EXACTLY why Japan should not worry about depopulation, or change immigrant/refugee policy. Despite what foreign citizens argue in this site.

The technology here is unbelievable!

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

@ since1981

When you're aware of the situation in many elderly homes in other developed nations you know that 'real caring' is not always the core business :)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Furthermore,these robots could solve the childcare problem in Tokyo.The givernment does not have enough childcare staff,so hire some robots to do the job.Would enable women to return to work,and another big boom to economy.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Love the sarcasm, Ganbare Japan! Very funny.

Old people are confortable with them.

This is easier to understand if you realize that it's not unfamiliar--perhaps even soothng--to those who have live robotically all their lives.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

20 different models to care for its residents.

Actually, the don't 'care for' the residents. They 'entertain' the residents, which is a bit sad really. In other countries they use animals and singing children to entertain the elderly - things with a heartbeat. I sincerely hope that Japan does not intend to use robots to 'care for' the elderly. It seems very 'set and forget' to me.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What a sad commentary on our society, that robots would replace human interaction especially among those that would most benefit from human contact, the elderly.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

As of the end of 2017, only 18 foreigners held nursing care visas, a new category created in 2016.

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Cyberdyne Inc's HAL - short for Hybrid Assistive Limb - lumbar type is a powered back support that helps caregivers lift people.

I think very good to be introduced. Rather than thinking they will be produced to military purpose as soldiers "terminators".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't want to live that long unless I am productive and useful and can help others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hey even less human interaction. awesome

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These machines can enrich our lives and do the jobs that nobody wants to do, leaving people free to do more fun and innovative work. Machines can dehumanize too, like in the case of America. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

At my mother in laws care home, there is a pepper robot. Never saw a resident interact. Just staff when they are bored or kids who want to play the video games while being forced out of the car to visit granny.

People are better for interaction, but hey, I only go there 3 times a week, so that makes me a failure for her.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yup. Gonna be seeing a lot more of these robots entertaining elderly when a new huge batch of people hit retirement age in the next 10 years

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good to know. I just don't think robots will be a solution to the aging population and dwindling work force. The country will still need human beings to consume products and support the domestic markets. Robots don't do shopping.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If getting old in Japan means that people end up having to interact with ridiculous toys, I am sorry but this is pathetic.

I find ridiculous to think that anyone can believe that those toys will be a solution for elderly care any time soon. Those are toys, technologically totally unadvanced toys. No, Japan is not doing advanced robots, the only things they are doing are dumb noisy toys.

This is moreover insulting those people that to provide them such crap as they are not able to interact anymore with people but only with dumb moving things. This shows how elderlies are poorly respected here by their government and institutions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The problem with this article is that it does not adequately capture how robotics, A.I., etc. can be of assistance in the senior citizen care industry.

This article, like so many others, focuses on the robots / devices that senior citizens directly interact with. Which, of course, is off-putting to many.

However, there are far more practical areas and ways that robots, robotic devices, etc. can be used. And will be used. For things like cleaning, medical assist devices, even food preparation and delivery. And so forth,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@zones2surf - However, there are far more practical areas and ways that robots, robotic devices, etc. can be used. And will be used. For things like cleaning, medical assist devices, even food preparation and delivery. And so forth,

This technology already exists and is not being used. What makes you think it will change? The thing missing from this article is, the cost of all these interactive toys. The pension system in Japan has failed and most elderly are living well below the poverty line. Government funded aged care facilities are few and far between with large waiting lists for placements. The private nursing homes are ridiculously expensive and out of reach of the majority in need of aged care. The aged facilities are understaffed and underpaid and, in many cases, the staff are under trained. Who is going to spend so much money on toys for the elderly? Nobody!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why not use rescue animals rather than a mechanical thing like a robot. It seems extremely cold and heartless to expect the elderly to be "entertained" by robot animals instead of the real thing. (especially when there are so many in shelters around the country)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They use these with the elderly because no one else can stand them -- the robots, I mean. Have you ever stood around close to one of those "Pepper" robots for more than two minutes? It's enough to drive you mad.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When robots can prevent bed sores, clean up incontinent patients and put people back to bed then we’ll be making progress.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article made me shed a tear on how the elderly people are in Japan. Sure, there are worse scenarios but, until they can make robots that have EQ like that of a real person, these bots can only do so much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope I never loose my marbles to believe a robot can lead me...

OK.. I mean a non-natural flesh & blood Robot...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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