Monday, November 14, 2011

OK, this is weird!

I've long been interested in anti-snoring techniques and technology, because I suffer from sleep apnea. I've been using a CPAP machine for a year now, and I've found it very helpful. However, this Japanese invention creeps me out! Japan Trends reports:

This week saw the 19th International Robot Exhibition (IREX) held at Tokyo Big Sight displaying the world’s most advanced, innovative and sometimes plain bizarre robots.

. . .

Dr Kabe from Wasaeda Univeristy’s Kabe Lab in the Faculty of Human Science demonstrated a number of different concepts that all centered around providing care or comfort with the aid of technology. One such idea was the “Jukusui-kun” (Deep Sleep), a robotic pillow like device in the shape of a polar bear that looks at helping the more than 2 million patients who suffer “Sleep Apnea Syndrome” in Japan (those who suffer breathing difficulties while sleeping ... chronic snorers!).

Dr Kabe’s Jukusuri-Kun works through the person asleep wearing a similarly cute pulse-oxygen meter attached to the hand which sends readings of the amount of oxygen in the blood to a terminal running a program with the persons vital statistics pre-programmed in. To eliminate the intrusion of wires preventing a good sleep the team also developed a cordless technology which uses the human bodies natural conductive properties to communicate with a conductive sheet that lies under the bed sheet. The pillow itself also houses a microphone which analyses the decibel level of the snorer. When the oxygen level decreases in the patient resulting in the snore level increasing it triggers the bear-pillow’s hand to move towards the sleepers face. Gently brushing the face causes the person to then turn from lying on their back to moving onto their side, a more conducive postion for a sound, snoreless nights sleep.

There's more at the link. Here's a video clip of the 'device' in operation.

A robotic polar bear that tickles your face? I want to say "Now I've heard everything!", but I know that's not true, because it won't be long before someone's over-fertile imagination comes up with something to top this! Personally, I can only say that the thought of an apex predator tickling my face - even in robotic, playful form - is not calculated to lull me into peaceful sleep!



Arthur B. Burnett said...

Greetings from Texas,
I too have been using a C-Pap machine, for going on twenty years now. The Japanese system sounds interesting. My question is, what about REM sleep. It sounds to me like this system would keep you from the deep sleep that we all need.

Anonymous said...

I've one of these, but I call it a 'Wife'

trailbee said...

I know women who changed bedrooms, which I think is a little drastic. But I think I'm losing my hearing, so things are looking up!:
Sorry about the sleep apnea. My husband suffers from it and has used a variety of useless remedies. I shall make him aware of this new one.

BobG said...

I'll stick with my CPAP, thanks. The last thing I would need is something waving its paw in my face at night and freaking me out. I'd be liable to spring up and thump/shoot it without thinking.