Panasonic has a long history of supplying high-tech medical devices to institutions throughout its home country of Japan.
Combine that expertise with its emerging robotics know-how and this is what you get – the world’s first robot bed that lifts the occupant up when needed and transforms itself into a wheelchair that can move off on its own.
Panasonic’s press release explains the thinking behind the project:
“As the robot can transform itself from a bed into a wheelchair and vice versa at the command of the user, it eliminates not only the need for the user to transfer between the bed and a wheelchair but also the risks and burden associated with the transfer.
The robot can also expand the user’s range of activities. Now, the user can join the family meal by converting the bed into a wheelchair and moving to the dining table without the need of assistance from other people.”
There’s nothing online yet, as the new machine will make its debut at the International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition (H.C.R. 2009) in Tokyo between September 29 and October 1, 2009, but you can download the press release [PDF] right here.
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