London: In what could make easy the task of moving patients between beds and wheelchairs, a leading Japanese electronics firm has developed a new 'Robotic Bed' that can convert into a wheelchair with a simple voice command.
The revolutionary device that was displayed recently at Panasonic headquarters in Osaka, Japan, automatically separates different components and converts into either a bed or wheelchair as per the command by the user, The Daily Mail reported.
The developers hope the Robotic Bed will help people with limited mobility become more independent.
"Now, the user can join the family meal by converting the bed into a wheelchair and moving to the dining table without the need of assistance from other people," the report quoted a company spokesman as saying.
According to the company, the device has an intuitive controllers that allows the user to drive it and command it to transform into a bed.
While in wheelchair mode, the robot can also detect obstacles in its way to avoid collisions, said the report.
In bed mode, the robot adjusts and optimizes the mattress to contour to the body shape. The robot also helps the user turn over to prevent bedsores.
Panasonic, which formed a robotic unit last year, sees a profitable future in robotics. It predicts sales of its robotic items of worth 600,000 pounds by 2015.
Story First Published: October 19, 2009 17:30 IST