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Japan Builds Robot to Look after Elderly
http://www.cso365.com  2006-4-17 8:30:17   中国日报网站  

       摘要:

       据日本一研究小组称,研究人员已研制出一种能看、听和识别气味的“抱人”机器人,这种机器人将用于护理日本日趋增多的老年人。 

        A Japanese-led research team said it had made a seeing, hearing and smelling robot that can carry human beings and is aimed at helping care for the country's growing number of elderly.

        据日本一研究小组称,研究人员已研制出一种能看、听和识别气味的“抱人”机器人,这种机器人将用于护理日本日趋增多的老年人。

        由政府支持的日本物理与化学研究所(Riken)介绍说,这个名为RI-MAN的人形机器人身高1.58米,现已能抱起12公斤的人偶。5年内,它有可能背负70公斤的重量。
        研究小组负责人之一向井寿治说:“我们希望,通过未来几年的研究,RI-MAN机器人将能用于护理老年人,或者能在康复中心工作”。
        RI-MAN机器人身体表面附有5毫米厚的软性硅树脂,它身上装备的传感器能够显示一个物体的重量和位置。
        这个重达100公斤的机器人还可以分辨8种不同的气味,识别声音的来源方向,并能通过其视觉能力识别人的面孔。
        向井说:“未来,我们将继续挖掘它的潜力,能让它通过呼吸判断人的健康状况。”
        由于日本的出生率不断下降,而且日本人普遍长寿(人口平均寿命在世界上最长),所以日本老年人护理业亟需人手。
        2005年,日本人口自“二战”结束后首次出现负增长,这和越来越多的年轻人延迟结婚有关。
        A Japanese-led research team said it had made a seeing, hearing and smelling robot that can carry human beings and is aimed at helping care for the country's growing number of elderly.
       Government-backed research institute Riken said the 158-centimeter (five-foot) RI-MAN humanoid can already carry a doll weighing 12 kilograms (26 pounds) and could be capable of bearing 70 kilograms within five years.
       "We're hoping that through future study it will eventually be able to care for elderly people or work in rehabilitation center," said Toshiharu Mukai, one of the research team leaders.
       Covered by five millimeters (0.2 inches) soft silicone, RI-MAN is equipped with sensors that show it a body's weight and position.
       The 100-kilogram (220-pound) robot can also distinguish eight different kinds of smells, can tell which direction a voice is coming from and uses powers of sight to follow a human face.

       "In the future, we would like to develop a capacity to detect a human's health condition through his breath," Mukai said.
        Japan is bracing for a major increase in needs for elderly care due to a declining birth rate and a population that is among the world's longest living.
       The population declined in 2005 for the first time since World War II as more young people put off starting families.

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