Japanese researchers are sweeping old timers off their feet with a 5-foot robot. A government-backed institute has developed a seeing, hearing, and smelling robot strong enough to carry human beings. The 220-pound 'bot, dubbed RI-MAN, could aid healthcare workers needing to transport a geriatric or handicapped patient. Future abilities are in the works: "We would like to develop a capacity to detect a human's health condition through [the robot's] breath," said one researcher. A declining birth rate and long lives have made elderly care a challenge for Japanese society. With many U.S. baby boomers approaching 60, a similar plight Stateside is just a few years away. The Jetsons' Rosie may still be just a cartoon dream, but RI-MAN is certainly a step in the right direction.
RI-MAN Humanoid Robot, via Gizmodo