$77,000 will buy relief from backbreaking labor for healthcare workers. Riba 2 can lift a 175 lb person from a mat on the floor and place her gently in a wheelchair, and back again. This strenuous job can come up forty times a day in some healthcare settings. The robot is soft to the touch, moves around on wheels and responds to voice commands. Touch sensitive pads on the arms allow it to compensate for correct support. Instead of using a power-hungry motor to make the deep bend and lift, Riba 2 harnesses spring action and is non-threatening in size and appearance.
Developed by the RIKEN research centre and Tokai Rubber Industries, the robot will soon be trialled in Japanese nursing homes. The robot has a human guide. It isn't commercial yet and the price is an estimate.