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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Japanese Receptionist and Porter Robot

Aizu Central Hospital in Aizu-Wakamatsu 123 miles from of Tokyo introduced android receptionist and two porters on Oct. 28 which cost 60 million yen ($508,000).

The receptionist robot, produced by Japanese robot maker Tmsuk Co. Ltd., welcomes visitors at the entrance and answers spoken inquiries.

The two porter robots, which can move around on two wheels at a maximum speed of 1.5 kilometers per hour , can carry luggage and escort visitors and patients to their destinations. This 1.3 meter high white-and-green robotic porters can also alert people to obstacles with their sensors.

"They are the nation's first receptionist and porter robots actually working in a hospital, and people's reactions to them are quite positive," said hospital official Naoya Narita.

"By introducing them, we want to show the scene of a future hospital, where robots are getting along with patients and visitors," Narita said, the hospital is considering introducing another robot next year.

Japan leads the world's robotic industries in fields ranging from manufacturing to entertainment and security. Last year, Japanese companies unveiled a horde of prototype androids at the World Expo in central Japan.


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