September 30, 2010

Panasonic Unveils Hair-Washing Robot

Panasonic unveiled a robot on Thursday that scans a client's head using 3D technology, then shampoos their hair and massages the scalp with its rubbery "fingers."

The Japanese electronic maker said that the prototype machine was developed in order to try in help short-staffed healthcare facilities.

"The hair-washing robot was developed to fill the needs of workers at hospitals and health care facilities," said a spokesman for Panasonic, which is unveiling a prototype of the robot at the 37th International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo on Wednesday.

"Studies among them revealed their dilemma that they cannot attend to each and every request of the patients, such as shampooing, as it will add another task to the workers who are already burdened with many tasks."

The automated hair salon moved a pair of "arms' with 16 finger-like massage knobs while squirting shampoo and water during its 3 minute media demonstration.

"With 16 fingers, the robot washes hair and rinses the shampoo bubbles with the dexterity of human fingers," the company said in a statement.

"The robot's two arms scan the head three dimensionally as they move and measure and remember the head shape to apply just the right amount of pressure to each person when shampooing and massaging."

The machine was unveiled at a Tokyo fair of welfare goods that showed off 20,000 products, including a wheelchair that docks into a three-wheeled electric motorbike.  The robot will hit stores in a few years.


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