Asia Pacific (APAC), Global Politics, Japan

Assistant Robot Knows What Grandma Will Do

Assistant robots are very important tech assets in Japan today. In fact, its development industry is still growing to be the primary backbone of the country’s elderly healthcare system.

Panasonic, in response to this evolving industry develops its own, one that tries to see what your grandma will do next. The Autonomous Stand and Walk Assistant Robot is, as suggested, an assistant robot that aids elderly people in going about their daily lives. It may not look as charming or advanced as Asimo, but what is unique about this robot is its automatic position assist system. Whenever the person it assists tries to do something, it attempts to determine the user’s course of action, and provides the appropriate assistance.

The robot uses four different modes for this, all of which are designed to help the elderly in changing body positions, such as when sitting, standing or lying down.panasonicrobo01

The data required for the robot to use this system is collected through six sensors located throughout the unit. The sensors pick up various movement data, which it uses to determine the type of assistance it will do. In the event that a more specific type of assistance will be required, the user may simply readjust the robot’s assist modes to suit the situation.

The assistant robot is now currently being developed further for use in newer elderly private homes and healthcare institutions, especially in establishments where insufficient manpower could be a problem in overall management and operations. Aside from the elderly, the assistant robot is also projected to be very useful for slightly disabled people, for instance those who are recovering from physical injuries, or those that are currently under rehabilitation. The development of the the assistant robot is Panasonic’s very first attempt to enter Japan’s assistant robot industry. The company projects that the new assistant robot will be commercially available as early as 2016.