Press Release

NSK LIGHBOT™ Guide Robot Now Available for Use

Improved convenience for persons with vision challenges and the elderly, and reduced workload for staff providing information to visitors

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) today announced that it has succeeded in making its LIGHBOT*1 guide robot available for practical use. Rental services will start in April 2017. This product aims to improve convenience for sight impaired and elderly visitors to hospitals, as well as reducing the workload of persons providing information to visitors.

*1: LIGHBOT is available only for the Japanese market.

Presenting the LIGHBOT guide robot to the Kanagawa Rehabilitation Center
Presenting the LIGHBOT guide robot to the Kanagawa Rehabilitation Center
Hajime Sugiyama (left), Director of the Kanagawa Rehabilitation Center, and Hiroyuki Ito (right), Vice President and Head of New Field Products Development Center, Technology Development Division Headquarters, NSK Ltd.*2

*2: Title at the time

The LIGHBOT guide robot guides persons with visual challenges and elderly visitors to their destination in unfamiliar locations such as hospitals while avoiding obstacles. NSK has experimented and improved its LIGHBOT guide robot, readying it for practical use. This effort was supported by the Kanagawa Prefecture Special Zone for Robotics Industry (the Sagami Area), which promotes the popularization and practical use of life assistance robots, and the Projects for Developing Assistive Products of the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare of Japan, which aims to assist persons with disabilities to be self-reliant. The Kanagawa Rehabilitation Center (Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture) also provided valuable cooperation. In March 13, 2017, NSK received ISO 13482 certification from the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Noriaki Kobayashi, hereafter referred to as “JQA”), thereby completing the development process for this product and enabling rental services to start in April. The model used in development was donated to the Kanagawa Rehabilitation Center.

Product Details

This product features a touch panel for selecting one’s destination, displaying map information for identifying one’s current location, calculating the route, and providing guidance on the way. It also automatically avoids objects while en route or stops automatically.

NSK is a proactive leader in emerging markets related to building a safer, smoother society.