A team of Chinese engineers have developed a robot that can help the elderly clean themselves, even if they have mobility problems.

Samuel Hui Sing-kwong is leading Automation for Humanity’s project in Hong Kong, which has involved creating a device that can ensure the temperature is right for the patient, lather soap and of course rinse it off them.

Not only does it mean that carers don’t always have to be around to help, but it also gives the elderly person more independence and dignity, rather than having to rely on a st anger or family member to clean them.

The Sit and Shower system comprises a non-slip seat so the person doesn’t have to stand and risk falling over on the slipper floor. It continually monitors water temperature to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold too.

“Senior care is actually a global problem,” Hui said, “Many people still want to have control over their lives as they age. But in a nursing home, you will have to accept someone touching you when you take a shower.”

He said automating the bathing process would also help carers be more productive, easing some of the pressure on understaffed nursing homes.

“Young people don’t want to join the industry because they don’t like the idea of helping someone bathe,” Hui said.

The robot is undergoing trials at the moment in a rehab center and some nursing homes in Hong Kong. The next stage of the medical equipment’s development is to scale the Sit and Shower robot down so it can be installed in private homes too.