A Forklift For Humans
Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Japan
Helps patients who are too weak to walk, sit, or stand on their own
Why We Need It
The number of Americans over age 65 will reach 71 million by 2030. RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) is the only robot with arms designed to carry those people around.
How It Works
A powerful motor, plus 454 sensors embedded in RIBA’s arms, helps the robot lift and move people weighing up to 135 pounds. (Inventor Toshiharu Mukai and his colleagues aim to increase its strength next year when they test it in nursing homes in Japan.) For a comfortable ride, squishy skin made of urethane foam covers RIBA’s metallic frame. The robotic orderly can also recognize faces and voices and responds to commands such as, “RIBA, please help me off the couch.”
On The Job By