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Robotic bear pillow tickles sleepers to stop snoring

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November 16, 2011

Jukusui-Kun is a polar bear-shaped robotic pillow equipped with a pulse-oxygen meter and a moving paw that gently touches the sleeper's face to stop snoring

Jukusui-Kun is a polar bear-shaped robotic pillow equipped with a pulse-oxygen meter and a moving paw that gently touches the sleeper's face to stop snoring

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Demonstrated during this month's International Robot Exhibition (IREX) in Tokyo, Jukusui-Kun is a polar bear-shaped robotic pillow that, like Paro the seal-bot, masks a serious purpose beneath its cute and cuddly exterior. Jukusui-Kun is designed to help snorers and those who live with them - whenever snoring becomes too loud (and sleep apnea becomes a danger), the robot raises its paw and gently touches the sleeper's face to trigger a change of sleeping position.

While we've seen numerous treatments for sleep apnea, such as anti-snoring pillows and even smartphone apps, Jukusui-Kun is arguably the first and only anti-snoring robot.

As well as being quite irritating for family members, snoring might be a sign of sleep apnea. These dangerous pauses in breathing during sleep effect an estimated 2 million people in Japan alone - and it cannot be underestimated.

Basically, sleep apnea is associated with blood oxygen saturation. Therefore, the pillow bear works with a pulse-oxygen meter attached to sleeper's hand (in the form of a baby polar bear), which tracks the amount of oxygen in the blood. It's wirelessly connected to a terminal that analyzes the data and remotely controls the bear. There's also a microphone hidden inside the pillow which measures the level of noise caused by snoring.

When the oxygen level drops and noise increases at the same time, Jukusui-Kun slowly and gently raises its paw to brush the patient's face, thus causing a change of position without waking. This change in sleeping position from the back to the side encourages a snoreless night.

Jukusui-Kun, which means "deep sleep" in Japanese, was developed by researchers from Tokyo's Waseda University. There are no plans to introduce a commercial version at this stage.

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7 Comments

What a wunderbare invention!

Herbert Jahn

I found that \'duck tape\' works just as well and is alot cheaper!!

Pks29733steel

Once again Japan torchbears in robotics. Well done, engineers, in managing to forbear from creating a sleep device that overbears, and designing it to be a cute furbearer!

GeoMoon5

@ Pks29733steel

It\'s DUCT tape.

Mr Stiffy

Wow. I need this. All of my girlfriends of the last ten years or so have been snorers, and the CPAP machines kept me awake.

Gerald Bohmer Jr

I use micropore tape to keep my mouth shut when sleeping, this has also help greatly with my asthma. the is no need for expensive gadgets.

Denis Klanac

That would really disturb me, but I can see how some people might find this device beneficial especially against the option of taping one\'s mouth shut. Maybe I\'m uninformed but that seems like a bad solution .. ?

Justin Hersh
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