Electronic nurses

From physorg.com: Electronic nurses.

There is always plenty to do in a hospital, and more often than not, the staff is overworked. "This is where robots can be a real help," explains IAO scientist Thomas Schlegel, who is coordinating the new EU project IWARD. The abbreviation stands for ‘intelligent robot swarm for attendance, recognition, cleaning and delivery’. "These robots could take over a wide range of tasks: find the doctor, call the nurse, keep the sick-room clean, and show visitors the way. What is more, the mobile assistants can also tell when help is needed in a sick-room, for instance when a patient has suffered a fall. Then they can alert a nurse or an orderly."

Ten teams of researchers from Germany and seven other countries will collaborate on this project. They all met on Wednesday for the official project launch in Stuttgart. Over the next three years they plan to cooperate in developing a team of robots to support hospital staff. At the end of that period, the little fleet will be tested in hospitals. "What’s really new about these robots is their decentralized intelligence: Each one can act autonomously, but is also constantly in touch with its ‘colleagues’. This creates a swarm with abilities that far exceed those of each individual member," explains Schlegel. [continue]

2 thoughts on “Electronic nurses

  1. I’m so glad you’re back. I missed you and your wide-ranging scope of interests.

    If I were an old lady subject to falls (not an unlikely possibility), I would rather have a robot or some form of electronic monitoring than none at all. Maybe even preferable to a human companion, with whom I would feel obliged to keep up appearances, inane conversation and answer “how are we today” questions.

    I would be able to give it simple commands in English without wondering if it is an ESL entity and without concern for hurting its feelings. And it wouldn’t need to sleep, or get drunk or slip away for a tryst.

    Yes, there is something to be said for non-human company.

  2. I wonder how much these robotic assistants will cost. Also, will they have alarms/tracking beams when they’re manually removed from a certain area?

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