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Robot to give bedridden people a lift

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TOKYO, Oct 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A fleet of robots that can lift or move humans is coming to the rescue of bedridden people, courtesy of Japanese engineers, and will go on sale in April.

The robot manufacturer, Secom Co., said a person who needed assistance would be able to use a remote control to operate the Secomlift, which would pick the person up in a harness and move him or her to a wheelchair or toilet.

The robot is designed for those who suffer high-degree disabilities due to a stroke or disease such as muscular dystrophy, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Wednesday.

Secomlift's sensors ensure that the person in the harness is seated properly, automatically halting its operation if the user is not properly fitted into the device.

The robot will be sold for about $8,200. In Japan, nursing care health insurance would cover about 10 percent of the cost, the paper said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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