Robot nurses to care for aging Japanese

Share this content:
Japan, like many countries around the world, is facing a serious shortage of caregivers to look after its rapidly growing elderly population. Unlike others, however, it is about to create an army of robot nurses.

The Japanese government announced Wednesday that it hopes to have both the robot nurses and the safety guidelines for their use in place within five years, according to news reports. Officials at the ministry of trade and industry said a new agency, the Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, has been created to improve safety standards for robots over the next five years. Japan currently produces 70% of the world's industrial robots, according to an AFP report.

Rising numbers of elderly people and shortages of caregivers are problems facing many countries, including the United States. Both the U.S. and Japan have eased certain immigration rules in an effort to lure more foreign caregivers into the workforce. Japanese officials have said they hope that by building nurse robots, it can address its workforce shortages and improve its economy in one fell swoop.