Getting from a bed to a wheelchair (and back) is near-impossible to do without assistance for those with limited mobility. Sure, there have been a couple of solutions for it, including modified wheelchair designs and patient-carrying machines. The Panasonic Robotic Bed (yep, they’re calling it a robot) offers an altogether different solution, providing a bed that turns into a wheelchair (and back) at the push of a button.
When going into wheelchair mode, a section of the bed detaches from the main fixture, creating a full-fledged mobility vehicle that the patient can use to get around the house. Navigating the chair should be available using the integrated controls, although it appears to offer a self-piloting mechanism (hence, the “robot” reference), which Panasonic claims allows it to avoid obstacles with no user operation. Of course, if you wet your bed, you’re still screwed and will need someone to come in and assist you. Sorry, no self-drying, auto-cleaning mechanism here.
The Robotic Bed comes with a large canopy that can move at a vertical angle. It appears to serve no purpose other than as a mounting panel for an attached television. The TV is supposed to plug in to your home network, letting you access security cameras and other connected systems. Pretty sure you can use it like a regular TV too, so you can just lie down all day, enjoying crap programming if you want to.
Even though it’s designed for the mobility-impaired, the Panasonic Robotic Bed should make sense for those who find themselves too lazy to get up in the morning, too. Just push a button to prop your body into a seated position and another to transport you to the shower. Aaah… the lazy life.
Panasonic will be showing the thing off for the first time during the upcoming International Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition beginning September 29th.