I personally love it when products or gadgets are created to help the elderly. Hence I was highly impressed with the latest project by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). At this institute, the researchers have unveiled a new humanoid robot designed to lead the elderly in physical exercises. Named Taizo, this $8,000 humanoid robot is designed to motivate older adults to engage in more physical exercise. Dressed in a velvety space suit and sporting a goofy grin, the 70-centimeter (28-in) tall robot with his funny appearance is sure to appeal to the elderly.
With 26 joints in its body, this mechanical exercise instructor can easily demonstrate around 30 different moves. Taizo performs most exercises sitting on a special chair, but if required, he can stand and perform various activities. The 7-kilogram (15-lb) robot has fundamental language skills to understand simple spoken commands and lead a group in exercise. On a single charge, Taizo can run for about 2 hours. The Taizo will not just be an exercise instructor, but he is sure to become the best companion of many elderly folks with his cute looks.
The developers plan to start selling as well as renting the Taizo robots next year for around 800,000 yen (approx. $8,000) each.