Toppan in Japan is piloting its TransBots digital twin technology to use of robots to support nursing services in hospital.
TransBots uses virtual reality (VR) and computer vision (CV) technologies for remote, central management and control of multiple types of service robots. TransBots was used to direct multiple robots of different types to support nursing and the work of healthcare professionals by moving autonomously within hospitals and performing reception and patient guidance functions for wards and testing rooms.
The pilot was part of a project at the Shonan Kamakura General Hospital in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture in January this year. The aim was to identify technical challenges in terms of safety and operability that need to be addressed so that nursing support robots can be introduced to medical facilities to reduce the human workload.
Different scenarios for robot support services were devised based on feedback from nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as through on-site observation. Potential risks within hospitals were assessed and the suitability of the types of service was examined. Risks that could be caused by robots were analyzed and technical issues identified, identifying the technical challenges for practical use and to confirm the potential for nursing support provided by robots.
The service design was overseen by Satoru Tokuhisa, Associate Professor of Kyushu University’s School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation.
“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan was looking at ways to reduce the workload for nursing and care services, including the use of robots,” said Tomoichiro Shibue, deputy head of Toppan’s Business Innovation Centre. “TransBots can facilitate the use and control of robots for diverse services in healthcare settings and the results of this pilot test will enable us to refine the solution towards practical implementation.”
The results of the pilot will be on show at the iREX2022 robot show in Tokyo next week.
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