A shortage of nursing-care workers in Japan amid a rapidly aging population is accelerating the development and introduction of robots programmed to perform care-giving tasks.

The government is also spurring the trend, calling for the development of robotics-based nursing-care equipment as part of its Japan Revitalization Strategy.

RT. Works Co., an Osaka-based spinoff from Funai Electric Co., has released an autonomous walking-assist electric cart to help elderly people walk outdoors.