A robotic drugs dispenser designed for use in hospitals has been unveiled by Japanese electronics giant Panasonic.
Costing “several tens of millions of yen” (hundreds of thousands of pounds), according to spokesman Akira Kadota, it is described as looking “like a cabinet with lots of small drawers”.
The robot stores patients` medical data and dispenses drugs into drawers bearing their names. The company hopes that demand for this and other medical robotics will generate 30 billion yen (£194 million) in sales by 2016.
The machines are scheduled for delivery to Japanese hospitals next March, and the company also intends to market them in the US and Europe.
Said Mr Kadota: “This robot is the first in our robotics project. It sorts out injection drugs to patients, saving time for pharmacists.”
Robotics is a leading industry in Japan, and is being vigorously encouraged by the government. Carmaker Honda has developed the child-sized Asimo, which can walk and talk.
Earlier this year, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology unveiled a walking, talking robot with a female face.
Copyright Press Association 2009