The technology is designed to benefit elderly people and nursing home patients in Japan, where low birthrates and long lifespans mean that it's hard to find enough caretakers to go around. But it also seems like it probably has plenty of commercial applications, and it wouldn't be surprising if some salons had these within the next five years.
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Remember the Panasonic robot designed to wash your hair? Well, it's back, with an expanded electronic repertoire. This year's version, just presented by the company at the 38th International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo, has 24 "fingers" as opposed to last year's 16, and it gives gentle massages while shampooing, conditioning, and drying hair. You can even specify the spot you want washed and how much pressure the robot should apply while it massages you.