A Hospital in Japan is About to Use Robots to Work the Night Shift

Night shifts mean less staff, more work and if there are emergencies don’t even mention it. With all this pressure, hospital managements will retain few nurses because it is expensive. However, at a hospital in Japan, these shifts will be a whole different experience as the executive staff agreed to employ mobile robots for one year.

It’s sure that the Nagoya University Hospital staff will enjoy interacting with the machines and get to learn how the future world with robots would be. Besides that – if you have any idea what a night shift at a hospital is like, you can attest that having such reliable artificially intelligent “beings” on the job would be a great relief to the often fatigued human employees.

Source: Japan Times

The Project

The robotic system was developed as a project between Toyota Industries Corp (a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp) and Nagoya University. According to the project, the hospital will soon have robots under its employee team by February. This agreement is a no-brainer since Toyota Motor Corp had been quite successful in the robot-aided senior complex project at Aichi University.

According to Nauki Ishiguro (the hospital director), “the workload can be truncated by using robots to do tasks that humans have been doing.” Owing to this, the venture is expected to be successful.

Source: Ubergizmo

The Robotic Staff

Enough of the introduction, now let’s get to know about this genius breakthrough in the medical sector. You might be thinking these robots will be working hand in hand with the nurses in the wards but that’s not it. The robots are mobile refrigerators that will be moving from the pharmacy and Intensive Care Unit. Their main role being to transport test samples, intravenous fluids and other materials. How effective is that?

So nurses brace yourselves, the many trips to the pharmacy will soon be gone thanks to these electronic devices. Think about those busy nights in the wards that require you to be all over the place will be no more. On average, the robots will be 125cm, 63cm deep and 50cm wide. Their shape is just like a refrigerator difference being these will always be on the move.

Source: Business Wire

The speed of these machines will be 3.6 kph which is quite fast in terms of getting supplies compared to you going for them. As the robot does the rounds you can continue caring for your patients. That’s just spectacular! Another fascinating discovery about these robots is that they can carry up to 30 Kg which means a number of nurses can order at a go.

Delightfully, the machines can also use the elevators just like we do and go from floor to floor to deliver the supplies. Hospital managements, you should be all ears because this is the next big thing. You should definitely try it out once they reach the market.

How do You Reach the Robots?

You might be wondering…so how do you reach the robots? The techs kept this in mind as well in their creation. For registered staff members specifically, they have been given the ability to call the robots using a tablet. Through a simple call, the robot will automatically take orders and go for the supplies automatically and deliver them as per the instructions.

The movement of the robots is well co-ordinated as they are dependent on radar and cameras to navigate through the hospital. Funny enough, the robots cannot knock you down when you happen to be in its way. They will simply dodge you or politely ask you to give way (very courteous I must say). When the robots sense low battery, they will automatically move to the recharging zone.

Source: CBC

Working Hours During the Test Period

The project being in its trial phase, it will be run from 5:00 pm and 8:00 am on nightshifts when there is less disruptions. By February, Nagoya Hospital will deploy four robots for a start. Depending on the success of the launch, the hospital plans to add more units to aid with the workload around the hospital. Hospitals out there, this is a breakthrough you have to be on the lookout for.