Tokai Rubber and RIKEN team up on RIBA-II
Saitama, JAPAN—A new robot developed in Japan can lift patients weighing as much as 80kg.
Named RIBA-II, the robot was manufactured by Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI) and RIKEN, an R&D firm.
The robot uses high-precision tactile sensors and flexible motor control technology. It can transport patients from off floor-level bedding and into a wheelchair. RIBA-II will be used in old age facilities, where it’s expected to ease the burden on care personnel.
Check out RIBA-II in action.
On average, care personnel have to lift patients 40 times every day.
RIBA was born out the RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research (RTC), a joint project established in 2007 and located at the Nagoya Science Park in central Japan.
RIBA-II has joints in its base and lower back to help it crouch down and lift. To do this, it uses smart rubber sensors—the first capacitance-type tactile sensors made entirely of rubber.
The sensors are printed in sheets and fitted onto the robot’s arms and chest, allowing it to detect a person’s weight from touch alone.
RTC researchers plan to keep working with partner nursing care facilities to further test and develop RIBA-II.