Tech Insider contributor Danielle Muoio reports a new twist on the notion that necessity is the mother of invention. Japan, by 2025, will be 1 million caregivers shy of the number needed to take care of its 65-plus population, according to a Merrill Lynch report.
Already, one out of five Japanese people is 65 or older, giving it distinction as the world's "oldest" nation. Muoio writes about technological innovation being developed to address that potential crisis.
Carebots are robots specifically designed to assist elderly people, and it's an industry that's growing in a big way. One-third of the Japanese government's budget is allocated to developing carebots.
The global personal robot market, which includes carebots, could reach $17.4 billion by 2020, according to the Merrill Lynch report.
For example, Honda's Asimo robot is an autonomous, humanoid robot that could help the elderly by getting them food or turning off lights.