Is China going to be the next Japan when it comes to the number of elderly folk getting around? Perhaps, as it is projected that by the time we are halfway through this decade, China’s elderly population will make up nearly 20% in total – that’s a cool 200 million. The Chinese Academy of Sciences decided that having robots around to provide care for the elderly is a brilliant idea, hence the HuiHui’s development that might eventually see it serve in nursing homes, hospitals, and even around the home as a general nanny.
HuiHui towers over kids at 170cm in height, sporting an omnidirectional base with two arms that have five-fingered hands each. It will be able to fetch objects for its master using voice commands, including delivering a glass of water, or perhaps pouring out a cup of tea. Getting bored? It isn’t going to be able to challenge you to a game of Go!, but it can play checkers, churn out some music, and even dance.
A laser range finder located on the front of its wheel enclosure won’t have it send missile co-ordinates to the military anytime soon, but rather, it helps HuiHui get around the home without knocking things over. This doesn’t look as though it will come cheap though – hopefully by the time HuiHui is ready for mainstream action, the general populace in China would be prosperous enough to be able to afford one.
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