The importance of hospital robots during the virus pandemic
The University of Tartu researchers are developing hospital robots that could ease the workload of the medical workers during virus outbreaks and also minimize the exposure to patients.
According to the leader of the project, there are several tasks in the hospital that could be automated. Mobile robot could, for example, bring patients food or medication or even direct the patients to the office.
"The main goal is to develop a team of robots to ease the workload of nurses, doctors and other medical workers," explained the University of Tartu Associate Professor of Collaborative Robotics Arun Kumar Singh.
Up until today, robots are mainly used in the factories, where there are not so many people. This is the hardest part of the project - robots working with humans and their collaboration.
"If we put robots together with humans, both of them feel uncomfortable. For example, if robot sees a group of people, it has to predict how they will move within the next seconds and understand how to get past them," added Singh.
In the spring, several countries tried to use the robots in the hospitals, however, according to researchers,such a thorough development has not been done before. The current market value of one mobile robot is about 50 000 euros.
The University of Tartu Associate Professor of Robotics Engineering Karl Kruusamäe believes that the first tests in real hospitals will be done by the end of next year: "From this, we can see, if we can impress the medical professionals and hospital managers so that they would be willing to invest in such robots."
The news was published in the ERR News.