Friday, March 13, 2015

Japan prefers Robot Bears to immigrants


Robear robot carer
I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of folks in Indonesia or the Philippines who would gladly carry elderly Japanese from their beds to their wheelchairs.




"Japan's subsidized robots are intended to make up for national shortages in human health workers—and a long history of restrictionist immigration policies. In 2010 the country had just 1.3 million nursing care workers, a far cry from the 2 million the Health Ministry estimated were necessary and woefully short of the 4 million the ministry expects will be needed in 2025. Restrictions on immigrant workers make the situation even more dire: Japanese citizens are legally prohibited from hiring foreign workers to help with senior or child care.

The subsidies, then, function as a way of avoiding higher immigration levels. For years, Japan has been notoriously resistant to immigration. Of its current population, less than two percent are from outside the country, and the nation has traditionally only allowed about 50,000 immigrant visas each year—far less than the 700,000 estimated to be necessary to keep population levels afloat.

In early 2014, reports suggested that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might allow for expanded immigration, perhaps as many as 200,000 newcomers each year. But by summer, he had backed off the idea. "In countries that have accepted immigration," he declared on a Japanese TV show, according to The Financial Times, "there has been a lot of friction, a lot of unhappiness both for the newcomers and the people who already lived there."

Robot workers might provide some assistance for the country's aging population, but they won't do much to solve the nation's underlying fiscal problems: They don't pay taxes, start businesses, or contribute directly to a growing economy. At best, they'll make it easier for Japan to grow old. But unlike immigrants, they won't make the country young again."

The "Robear" has a cub-like face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath, Japan's Riken institute said Tuesday.
"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai told AFP.
"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not-too distant future," he added.
A historically low birth rate and ever-increasing life expectancy means Japan's population of is growing, while the pool of youngsters to look after them is shrinking.
A reluctance to accept large-scale immigration means an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.
This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.
"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.
"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem," it said.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-robear-strength-robot.html#jCp
The "Robear" has a cub-like face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath, Japan's Riken institute said Tuesday.
"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai told AFP.
"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not-too distant future," he added.
A historically low birth rate and ever-increasing life expectancy means Japan's population of is growing, while the pool of youngsters to look after them is shrinking.
A reluctance to accept large-scale immigration means an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.
This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.
"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.
"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem," it said.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-robear-strength-robot.html#jCp
The "Robear" has a cub-like face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath, Japan's Riken institute said Tuesday.
"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai told AFP.
"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not-too distant future," he added.
A historically low birth rate and ever-increasing life expectancy means Japan's population of is growing, while the pool of youngsters to look after them is shrinking.
A reluctance to accept large-scale immigration means an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.
This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.
"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.
"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem," it said.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-robear-strength-robot.html#jCp
The "Robear" has a cub-like face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath, Japan's Riken institute said Tuesday.
"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai told AFP.
"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not-too distant future," he added.
A historically low birth rate and ever-increasing life expectancy means Japan's population of is growing, while the pool of youngsters to look after them is shrinking.
A reluctance to accept large-scale immigration means an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.
This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.
"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.
"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem," it said.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-robear-strength-robot.html#jCp



The "Robear" has a cub-like face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from a wheelchair to a bed or a bath, Japan's Riken institute said Tuesday.
"The polar cub-like look is aimed at radiating an atmosphere of strength, geniality and cleanliness at the same time," research leader Toshiharu Mukai told AFP.
"We voted for this design among options presented by our designer. We hope to commercialise the robot in the not-too distant future," he added.
A historically low birth rate and ever-increasing life expectancy means Japan's population of is growing, while the pool of youngsters to look after them is shrinking.
A reluctance to accept large-scale immigration means an increasing reliance on robots, especially to perform physically difficult work.
This frequently combines with the country's love of all things cute, to produce machines with disarming faces and child-like voices.
"As Japan is ageing with fewer children, the problem of a shortage in caregivers for the elderly is getting serious," Riken said in a statement.
"Expectations are high that robotics will help resolve this problem," it said.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-robear-strength-robot.html#jCp













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