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Physiotherapists Get Help From Robots

In Robert Heinlein's 1941 novel Methuselah's Children, one hundred thousand people escape in a space ship built for twenty thousand. Ordinarily, many of these people would use cold sleep; in this state, people take up much less space.

But cold sleep somnolents require a lot of physiotherapy to remain viable:

But the space allowed per passenger had been living space, not the minimum passage space adequate for an interplanetary liner. By converting some of the recreation space to storerooms and adapting the storerooms thus cleared to the purpose of cold-sleep, the ship was roomy enough.

Students of bio-mechanics have worked out an involved empirical formula setting forth the relationship between impressed acceleration and body deterioration in conditions of artificial stupor. The answers obtained depend on the drugs used, the temperature differential above freezing, age biological sex, race, body mass, and many other factors.

It suffices that, under the conditions selected in the New Frontiers, somnolents needed to be turned but once a week and required massage and check on blood-sugar count but once in three months, which greatly reduced the labor of caring for them. The care had to be taken by hand; the designers of the New Frontiers did not contemplate the necessity of providing facilities for tens of thousands of somnolents and had included no machinery for the purpose.

Maybe the machinery needed for mechanical care of long-time somnolents might look something like the following?

Here's another robotic assist for physiotherapists:

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/25/2022)

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