Robots To Replace Graying Japanese Workers?

April 8, 2008
As the population of Japan ages, the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation (MIMF) believes that robots can be called upon to fill in gaps in the labor force.
According to a Reuters story, Japan faces a 16 percent slide in the size of its workforce by 2030 while the number of elderly will mushroom.
Tops among the opportunities for robots? Health and nursing care.

In its report, the MIMF said that Japan could save over $20 billion in insurance payments in 2025 by “…using robots that monitor the health of older people, so they don’t have to rely on human nursing care.”
Caregivers would save more than an hour a day if robots helped look after children, older people and did some housework, it added. Robotic duties could include reading books out loud or helping bathe the elderly.
According to Takao Kobayashi, an author of the MIMF study, “Robots are important because they could help in some ways to alleviate such shortage of the labor force.”

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