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Nursing Robot Designed to Assist on Hospital Rounds

The Terapio medical round support robot can record vital signs and display data, as it follows the doctor or nurse from patient to patient. (Photo credit: Toyohashi University of Technology.)
The Terapio medical round support robot can record vital signs and display data, as it follows the doctor or nurse from patient to patient. (Photo credit: Toyohashi University of Technology.)

Researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan have developed a robot call Terapio, intended to replace the traditional medical cart used by doctors and nurses during their rounds in a hospital. The mobile, autonomous robot can deliver resources and record information as doctors visit with patients. A paper outlining the robot was recently presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2015.

Able to track a healthcare provider as they move from patient to patient and avoiding obstacles, the robot moves quietly and smoothly using differential-drive steering. Or, using the Terapio’s ring-shaped power-assist handle, an operator can control the robot accurately by applying a slight force. Terapio can also record patients’ vital signs and display data, such as the patient’s health records.

A touch panel on the top of Terapio is used for operating the robot and inputting or displaying round data. An LCD display on the top of Terapio serves as the robot’s face, with emotive, friendly eyes.

“As we were developing Terapio, we could clearly imagine the human-robot symbiosis. By constantly promoting the pursuit of system integration technology, life with robots will be a reality in the near future,” said assistant professor Ryosuke Tasaki in a press release. “An ongoing daily effort to incorporate high-tech robotics into our activities will be the best way to realize life in our future society.”

 

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