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Monday, June 21, 2010

Scottish Hospital To Use Robotic Workers

The new £300m Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire will open in August with a small army of robots wandering dedicated hallways and looking after many of the non medical duties involved in running a hospital. According to hospital chairman Ian Mullen "Members of staff will use a hand-held PDA to call up the robot to move meal trays, or linen, or whatever. The robot will come up in the service lift by itself, pick up the item and go back into the lift." The robots will be able to detect obstructions and send signals to doors to open or close them once they've passed through the threshold.

"Traditionally clean and dirty tasks are carried out by the same person," infection control nurse Lesley Shepherd told the BBC. "Here, you'll have the robots that do dirty tasks, so they may take dirty linen or clinical waste away, and you'll have robots that do clean tasks, such as bringing meals and clean linen to patients. They have separate lifts so there's no way they can cross, which is great." 
More detail including video at BBC News.