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Robotic bear pillow tickles sleepers to stop snoring


November 16, 2011

Jukusui-Kun is a polar bear-shaped robotic pillow equipped with a pulse-oxygen meter and a...

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.


What a wunderbare invention!

Herbert Jahn
17th November, 2011 @ 05:37 am PST

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

17th November, 2011 @ 10:43 am PST

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!

17th November, 2011 @ 12:03 pm PST

@ Pks29733steel

It's DUCT tape.

Mr Stiffy
17th November, 2011 @ 05:35 pm PST

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 Calvin Bohmer Jr
18th November, 2011 @ 05:32 am PST

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
18th November, 2011 @ 10:43 pm PST

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 Michael Hersh
20th November, 2011 @ 06:15 am PST
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