If Panasonic has its way, the next human task we entrust to Japanese robots will be hair-washing. The electronics manufacturing giant is developing a hair-washing robot and hopes to put it into actual service in beauty salons before the end of the year.

First, the robot moves its mechanical fingertips around the customer’s head, measuring it with sensors. Once it has an idea of the unique shape of the customer’s head, it applies hot water and shampoo and uses its 24 digits to wash the customer’s hair.

There are over 270,000 beauty salons in Japan, but Panasonic Robot Operations Center spokesman Sachio Honda anticipates seeing these robots in nursing and care facilities as well.

“We want to put these robots in the nursing and care market as soon as we can so that they can help people who need care and people with disabilities,” Honda said.

Panasonic introduced the new machine to the media on April 9 and will begin testing on actual customers at beauty salons in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture this week. Panasonic will continue the testing for a two-month period in order to get feedback from customers and deliver a more realistic feeling. Panasonic’s goal is to make a machine that not only washes hair but makes customers feel like a human has cleaned and rinsed their hair.

Source: NHK News