Panasonic Corp announced plans to sell new models of its hospital robot that would transport lab samples and medicine to patients.
The robots can navigate hallways while avoiding people, wheelchairs and other obstacles using sensors, to a certain destination or room which will be inputted via touch screen, The Nikkei reports. It runs at a speed of 3.6kph, slightly slower than human walking speed, and can even ride elevators.
Panasonic developed the system based on technology for factory automation. The robotic nurses will cost about 60 million yen for a multifloor hospital, half as much as traditional pneumatic tube transport systems.
In 2011, the electronics company first introduced “HOSPI-Rimo,” an innovative communication assistance robot designed to support patients who are bed ridden or have limited mobility to communicate.
It has also developed a robot specifically for washing patients’ hair. The Hair-Washing Robot can compete the entire process of hair washing automatically, from shampooing, rinsing, conditioning and drying. The new model features washing arms with more fingers and improved mechanics to give more comfortable washing experience.
Another invention is RoboticBed, an electric bed that can be transformed into an electric wheelchair and vice versa.
Panasonic aims to bring in 1 billion yen in sales in fiscal 2015, mostly from midsize and large hospitals.
By Maesie Bertumen