Panasonic’s hair-washing robot

It wets …. it washes …. it massages ….
and it rinses. Panasonic has developed a hair-washing robot
that uses 16 electronically controlled fingers to give even the dirtiest hair a makeover. The robot is a little smaller than a washing
machine and can run automatically from start to finish in about 3 minutes. It was developed to assist caregivers in hospitals
and health-care facilities and the idea for it came from personal experience explained
Yukio Honda, director of Panasonic’s robot development center. Yukio Honda, Director, Panasonic Robot Development
Center “I been thinking for a long time about developing
a robot that used a pair of hands. While I was thinking about that, I had to enter hospital.
I was in hospital for two weeks, but my hair was washed just two times. Women said they
wanted their hair washed everyday, but the nurses are very busy and can’t manage it.
I thought that if we had a robot it would be possible.” One of the biggest challenges in designing
the robot was getting it to apply just the right amount of pressure as it washes and
massages. To get that right, sensors are installed that
scan the head of users to get an idea of the shape. Once done, this information can be
remembered for next time. Honda hopes the robot can one day contribute
to helping the elderly and people with limited mobility contribute more to society. Yukio Honda, Director, Panasonic Robot Development
Center “If you don’t wash your hair you can’t feel
stylish, and then it’s more difficult to be part of society. You can set this robot to
automatically wash your hair. If you know your hair is clean it’s easier to talk to
people. So helping people stay clean can contribute to them leading an independant life. We think
our robot could be a benefit to those people.” While not well known for its robotic technology,
Panasonic is hoping to build its research into a US$1.2 billion business by 2015. Its Osaka-based robots lab has already developed
several prototypes, including a porter robot that can be used to assist in pulling heavy
objects. There’s also a robot that that can assist with serving food and washing dishes. Panasonic hasn’t provided a launch date for
any of the robots. It hopes that hospitals will be among the
first customers of the hair washing bot. In Tokyo this is Martyn Williams, IDG News

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22 thoughts on “Panasonic’s hair-washing robot

  1. Good idea, in senior homes, sometimes they only get to wash their hair once a week, because there are not enough staffs.

  2. Good. Now, they need one which can style hair. That will be harder to do.

    But for hospitals and nursing homes, this is a marvelous invention.

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