Seeing-eye robots? Bots for elderly draw crowds at iRex

With an aging population, Japan is building more humanoid robots like this Nachi assembly bot that has a stereo camera for object recognition.

(Credit: Tim Hornyak/CNET)

TOKYO — We can all look forward to growing old with buckets of bolts that will watch over us, assist us, and maybe even entertain us.

That’s the message at the International Robot Exhibition (iRex), a trade show here highlighting elderly care along with the latest developments in factory automation.

Marking its 20th year, iRex drew 334 companies and groups, its largest showing ever, with 100,000 visitors expected.

While there were no knockout exhibits, the biennial state-backed exhibit was notably more peppy than previous editions overshadowed by the global financial crisis.

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