Robots Could Care for Elderly

Toyota unveils new technology aimed at targeting Japan's aging population
By Kevin Langbaum,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2007 6:29 PM CST

(Newser) – Toyota’s new robot can play the violin, and the car-maker hopes it could be used in the future to care for the elderly, AFP reports. The 5-foot-tall robot has 17 hand and arm joints, giving it enough dexterity to play an error-free “Pomp and Circumstance” today. Toyota wants to put human-assisting robots on the market early next decade.

Toyota, which uses robots in its car plants and developed a trumpet-playing machine three years ago, is trying to catch up to rivals Honda and Sony. The Japanese long life span, coupled with a low birth rate, is resulting in an aging population, and human-like robots are seen as key to assisting with medical and nursing home care.