Developing Resilient Nursing Robots for Improved Patient Care

A team of researchers from Japan have developed a robotic model for improved nursing of patients. The role of robotic technologies in patient-care has increased in recent times. Therefore, the efficiency, safety, and resilience offered under robotic care of patients is a matter of importance. The researchers developed robots that can imitate human movements, while offering improved control in lifting and moving patients. Meanwhile, the integration of robotic technologies within healthcare and medicine has emerged as a panacea for medical professionals. It has helped them in performing several tasks with palpable ease and efficiency. The findings of the research were published in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

Shortage of Caregivers

Consequently, the problem of unmet demands within the healthcare industry daunts several global organizations. Scanty number of caregivers across healthcare centers adds to this problem. Increase in geriatric population and a falling birth rate are the leading contributors to this trend. Hence, the presence of nursing care robots shall help in bridging healthcare gaps across the industry. However, these robots also come with certain limitations that need to be addressed. Robots meant to lift patients require premium supervision of humans and shall be maintained for their friction mechanisms. Weak robots may not be able to bear the load of the patients, and their ‘hands’ could stall out.

 Employing Static Friction

 The new research forges a method to help robots withstand the weight of patients. They use static friction to lift and hold objects, and this does not necessitate compensation of arising friction. In addition, static friction helps in keeping objects at rest, while allowing them to propel themselves upwards. The researchers used a two-link object to maintain static friction across the robots. The healthcare industry could hugely benefit from this development.