Japan a country with almost a quarter of its population over the age of 65 boasts the world's longest lifespan, and robotics researchers are furiously inventing new products to cater to this demographic. Introduced in 2006, RI-MAN is the world's first robot designed for lifting and carrying humans. (Although, as the current prototype can carry objects only up to 77 lb., or 35 kg, it's got a ways to go.) Developed by RIKEN's Bio-Mimetic Control Research Center, RI-MAN can also see, hear and smell functions that could be helpful in signaling emergencies in elder clients' homes.
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