Robotic nurse can gown a model in a hospital robe

Flexible objects are troublesome for robots to deal with, however a brand new strategy may enable synthetic nurses to assist sufferers gown


6 April 2022

Overview of the dressing pipeline. Following the CNA Practice Test guidance, we used a professional training manikin to simulate a person who has completely lost upper limb movement functionality and designed the pipeline as the following stages: stage A, the robot would navigate to the rail and grasp a hospital gown that is naturally hung on a rail; stage B, the robot would fully unfold the garment in the air; stage C, the robot would navigate around the hospital bed and lift up and dress the user?s both arms; stage D, the final operation spreads the gown to cover the upper body.

The robotic handles the robe in phases

Zhang et al. (2022)

A two-armed robotic can grasp a folded hospital robe and gown a medical model mendacity on a mattress. The expertise isn’t but prepared to be used on folks, however it’s an experimental step in direction of synthetic nurses in hospitals.

Fan Zhang and Yiannis Demiris at Imperial College London examined their robotic in a situation that carefully mimicked the Certified Nursing Assistant take a look at utilized in US healthcare, by which a trainee nurse has to place an open-backed gown on an individual with weak or paralysed arms. Instead of a human, nonetheless, they used a model designed for medical coaching.

Flexible objects like a robe are extraordinarily troublesome for robots to work with, as a result of their total form and dimension differ dramatically relying on how they’re draped. Instead of attempting to trace all the robe, the robotic focuses solely on key factors that it wants to know and manipulate.

The pair partially skilled the robotic’s synthetic intelligence management system utilizing a pc simulation of the issue earlier than working any bodily trials. Once skilled, the robotic efficiently dressed the simulated affected person 90.5 per cent of the time.

Mehmet Dogar on the University of Leeds, UK, says that figuring out key spots on the robe and largely ignoring the situation of all different factors “looks like a good approach”.

“When you’re putting your own shirt on, putting your hand through the sleeve, you don’t exactly know where the rest of the garment is, right?” he says.

Despite this, Dogar says that robotic nurses are nonetheless a way off. “These are very specific feasibility studies we’re looking at, and nurses are much, much more than that,” he says. “If you got this robot and put it in a real hospital, even just for this task, it will fail many times due to variations in the problem. So, I don’t think we can say robotic nurses are near, but these are all research questions that we need to ask and investigate so that we can move towards that.”

Journal reference: Science Robotics, DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abm6010

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