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October 03, 2011

Panasonic Unveils New Communication Assistance Robot, Hair-Washing Models

Panasonic Corp. has announced the development of an innovative communication assistance robot named “HOSPI-Rimo” and new models of its Hair-Washing Robot and RoboticBed.

People who need assistance to lead safe, comfortable and pleasant lives can use these robots, said company officials.

Serving as an intermediary, HOSPI-Rimo enables comfortable communication between people who are bed-ridden or have limited mobility to communicate with other people. The “HOSPI” automatic medication delivery robot is used in hospitals in Japan and other countries.

Company officials said that HOSPI-Rimo employs HOSPI's autonomous mobility technology and high-definition visual communications technology.

The robot uses technologies such as hybrid control technology combining remote-control and autonomous mobility; and conversation function using robot's motions and visual communications.

Company officials said that if a location near the target person is specified, the robot can autonomously move to that place and recognize the surrounding environment and avoiding obstacles in the way.

And, the shooting angle of the robot's built-in camera can be freely set by remote control. The High Definition Visual Communications System technology has been adopted for smooth, two-way conversation, said company officials.

Automatically, the entire process of hair washing can be completed with the new Hair-Washing Robot -- from wetting to shampooing, rinsing, conditioning and drying. Company officials said that the new model features washing arms with more fingers and improved mechanics than the previous model.

RoboticBed is an electric bed transformable into an electric wheelchair and vice versa. Introduced in 2009, the product has undergone constant improvements and has incorporated requests from both caregivers and recipients.

Introduced together with the RoboticBed, the Robotic Canopy has also received a number of requests such as easier installation and more user-friendly way of communication. Company officials said that these requests have led the company to develop the new communication assistance robot, HOSPI-Rimo.

Osaka, Japan, Panasonic develops and manufactures electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for RobotXworld. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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