Japan’s ageing society faces a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025, and the Japanese government wants to increase community acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce. According to Japan’s robot strategy, the government hopes that four in five care recipients accept having some support provided by robots by 2020.
Developers have focused their efforts on producing simple robotic devices that help frail residents get out of their bed and into a wheelchair, or that can ease senior citizens into bathtubs. Dr Hirohisa Hirukawa, director of robot innovation research at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said the aims included easing the burden on nursing staff and boosting the autonomy of people still living at home.

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