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.
My snoring doesn’t worry me – however, my wife finds it a pain in the neck. And while it might be stopping her from getting a good’s night sleep, it could be doing me more harm if it’s a sign that I’m suffering from sleep apnea – a condition in which patients pause during breathing while asleep, denying themselves oxygen. For US$2.99 snorers (or their long-suffering partners) can purchase a new iPhone app developed by Remote Analysis Ltd, a telemedicine provider from Finland, that analyzes snoring and advises if the patient should seek medical help.