Robohub.org
 

Two new robots for the nursing sector

by
30 October 2018



share this:

Credit: Fraunhofer IPA

As part of the “SeRoDi” project (“Service Robotics for Personal Services”), Fraunhofer IPA collaborated with other research and application partners to develop new service robotics solutions for the nursing sector. The resulting robots, the “intelligent care cart” and the “robotic service assistant”, were used in extensive real-world trials in a hospital and at two care homes.

Not enough nurses for too many patients or residents: this is a familiar problem in the nursing sector. Service robots have the potential to help maintaining an adequate quality of care also under these challenging conditions.

Intelligent care cart

Credit: Fraunhofer IPA

To cut down the legwork of the nursing staff and reduce the time spent keeping manual records of the consumption of medical supplies, Fraunhofer IPA in collaboration with the MLR Company developed the “intelligent care cart”. Using a smartphone, the care staff is able to summon the care cart to the desired room, whereupon it makes its own way there. A 3D sensor along with object recognition software enables the care cart to automatically register the consumption of medical supplies. Being of modular design, the care cart can be adapted to different application scenarios and practical requirements.

The care carts developed as part of the project were used in a hospital (stocked with wound treatment materials) and two nursing homes (stocked with laundry items). As the intelligent care cart is based on the navigation processes of a driverless transport vehicle, it travels primarily along fixed predefined paths. For use in public spaces, it is possible to make minor deviations from these paths in order, for example, to dynamically negotiate obstacles in the way. The real-world trials revealed that efficient navigation requires extensive knowledge of the internal processes in order, among other things, to guarantee that the desired destination is actually accessible.

The initial trials also showed that it makes a big difference whether the corridors have a single lane for both directions or separate lanes, i.e. one for each direction. For the residents and staff, using one lane made it clearer where the robot was going. In addition, restricting the care carts to a single lane ensured that they did not have to make major detours. Evaluating the real-world trials, the participating nursing staff confirmed that, by reducing the amount of legwork, along with the associated timesaving, the intelligent care cart represents a potential benefit in their day-to-day work. Also, the faster provision of care, with no interruptions for restocking the care cart, results in an improvement in quality for patients and residents.

Robotic service assistant serves drinks to residents

Credit: Fraunhofer IPA


Alongside the intelligent care cart, the robotic service assistant is another result of the SeRoDi project. Stocked with up to 28 drinks or snacks, the mobile robot is capable of serving them to patients or residents. Once again, the goal is to reduce the workload of the staff, in addition to improving the hydration of the residents by means of regular reminders. Using the robot also has the potential to promote the independence of those in need of care.

At a nursing home, where the robotic service assistant was trialed for one week in a common room nursing home, it made for a welcome change, with many residents being both curious and interested. Using the robot’s touch screen, they were able to select from a choice of drinks, which were then served to them by the robot. Once all the supplies had been used up, the service assistant returned to the kitchen, where it was restocked by the staff before being sent back to the common room by the use of a smartphone. This robot, too, received great interest from the participating nursing staff. The synthesized voice of the robot was especially popular and even motivated the residents to converse with the robot.

Have a look at the YouTube video showing the project results.

The project received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.




Fraunhofer IPA Fraunhofer is the largest research organization for applied research in Europe.
Fraunhofer IPA Fraunhofer is the largest research organization for applied research in Europe.





Related posts :



IEEE 17th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering paper awards (with videos)

The IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) is the flagship automation conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and constitutes the primary forum for c...
ep.

340

podcast

NVIDIA and ROS Teaming Up To Accelerate Robotics Development, with Amit Goel

Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, discusses the new collaboration between Open Robotics and NVIDIA. The collaboration will dramatically improve the way ROS and NVIDIA's line of products such as Isaac SIM and the Jetson line of embedded boards operate together.
23 October 2021, by

One giant leap for the mini cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time.
23 October 2021, by

Robotics Today latest talks – Raia Hadsell (DeepMind), Koushil Sreenath (UC Berkeley) and Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Robotics Today held three more online talks since we published the one from Amanda Prorok (Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems). In this post we bring you the last talks that Robotics Today...
21 October 2021, by and

Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association