RIKEN issued a press release about their joint research project with Tokai Rubber Industries to create a care giving robot. The 180kg robot, called RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) is the first that can safely lift a human weighing up to 61 kg from a bed into a wheel chair, or from a wheel chair into a bed. To make sure the human is comfortable, the robot is encased in soft urethane foam. The arms are also covered in 86 tactile sensors to give the robot information on the position of the human body. Doctors and nurses can guide the robot by touching the tactile sensors. In addition to the arm tactile sensors, the creepily cute robot has four more tactile sensors on the hands, 2 microphones, and 2 vision sensors. Each arm has 7 degrees of freedom. The head has 3 DoF and the waist 2 DoF. For more information, see the RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research. Video after the break, or you can see several more videos of RIBAs movements on the RIBA Operation - motions webpage. Ok, and I can't look at that photo without hearing Laurie Anderson's "O Superman" in my head; "So hold me, Mom, in your long arms, in your automatic arms, your electronic arms."