Scientists say the not-so-distant future holds in store robots doing house chores, a cure for HIV/Aids and Alzheimer's diseases, quake-predicting computers and an inhabited base on the moon.

The Science and Education Ministry's survey of about 2700 researchers and academics was conducted over several months to February to find out their predictions for future scientific and technological breakthroughs, the nationwide Asahi newspaper said on Saturday.

Optimistic vision

The poll found the researchers' vision for the future is bright. They think doctors will find a cure for HIV in 15 years.

By then, robots would be washing dishes and laundry in homes, and express trains floating on a magnetic cushion at speeds of 500kph would be common for intercity travel.

A cure for Alzheimer's disease could come 20 years from now. Technology to prevent cancers from metastasising, or spreading to other parts of the body, might also be available.

And in 30 years or more, humans could land on the moon to build a base where astronauts would run experiments and exploit lunar resources to try for manned space flights to Mars, the poll found.

The results are expected to be incorporated into the country's plans to fund science projects.