Objective of the project
Improve the quality of life of people living in Ibaraki Prefecture and develop robot-related industries by using state-of-the-art robot technology in personal-care fields such as nursing and welfare and promoting use of personal-care robots designed using technology from Ibaraki Prefecture
Outline of the project
- (1) Duration of the project :3 years (fiscal years 2009 to 2011)
- (2) Main entity of the project: Science and Technology Promotion Foundation of Ibaraki*subsidized by Ibaraki Prefecture
- (3)Outline of the project
(i) Field test research project
- Call for proposals from companies were held and contractors were chosen by a team of experts to extract problems regarding the robot equipment in terms of safely and convenience in use of personal-care robots so that examples of deployment could be compiled for improving robots and for use in medical institutions.
- Cyberdyne Inc. was selected as the contractor, and a consignment contract was signed in March 2010. Thirty HALs from Cyberdyne Inc. was deployed at field test sites (Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences and medical institutions, etc.).
(ii) Field test research project
- Publicity activities were held to popularize personal-care robots through demonstrations of robot suits.
- (i) Field test research project
Outline of field test research
- Thirty robot suits were deployed in medical institutions in Ibaraki Prefecture, primarily at Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, and opinions were sought from people with lower-limb motor-function disabilities stemming from damaged blood vessels in the brain or muscle disease.
- Cases where robot suits can be used, important points in fitting, how to use after fitting, and the status of users after fitting were summarized as an operator’s handbook.
(Reference) The personal-care robot suit “HAL”
- The personal-care robot suit “HAL”, which was developed by Prof. Sankai from the University of Tsukuba, is the world’s first cyborg-type robot that can extend or amplify bodily functions by a user wearing the suit.
- The musculoskeletal system works when signals are sent from the human brain to muscles via the nerves, which is accompanied by the appearance of minute biopotential signals at the surface of the skin. The personal-care robot suit “HAL” detects the biopotential signals and controls the power unit so that the joints move together with the movement of the wearer's muscles to support movement.