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Panasonic's Robotic Bed transforms into wheelchair

Company develops a bed-shaped robot that transforms into a wheelchair, allowing people with disabilities or the elderly to get up without help.


Panasonic has created a robotic bed that can transform into a wheelchair, allowing the elderly or people with disabilities to get up without assistance.

Users can remain in the bed while it turns into a wheelchair. Half of the mattress rises and half lowers while a motorized unit beneath it automatically slides out from the bed.

While in chair mode, the robot can detect people and obstacles and help users avoid collisions, according to Panasonic.

A controller allows for driving and returning to the bed.

The mattress can also help people turn over in bed to prevent bedsores.

The bed's robotic canopy automatically rises when the unit transforms. It has a screen that acts as TV, controller for home appliances, and home security camera viewer.

The bed is one of many new mobility solutions to help the aging Japanese population stay mobile.

They include Rodem, an ergonomic electric wheelchair, Toyota's thought-controlled wheelchair, and the Hybrid Assistive Limb, a robotic power suit.

And let's not forget Riba, the giant teddy bear robotic nurse that can lift a person from a bed and deposit him or her into a wheelchair.

I think the next logical step in this Japanese arc of invention is the creation of a giant teddy bear bed that transforms into a thought-controlled wheelchair.

Panasonic will show off its prototype Robotic Bed later this month at the International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition 2009 in Tokyo.

(Via Digital World Tokyo)