Good news first: our civilization is rapidly approaching the watershed moment in which we will all ride around on ursine mecha.

Riken's RIBA-II elderly-person-lifting bearbot is the first step towards tooling around in a titanium grizzly that has Tomahawk missiles for molars. The bad news? The RIBA-II costs $77K and won't be available commercially until 2015.

Yes, you'll have to wait another 3 years before attaching a scimitar to its forehead to the calming tones of trip-hop. And that's even if this device makes it to market — older folks aren't necessarily loving robot helpers.

[Via Plastic Pals]