Robot Nurses Seem Unavoidable

IWARD Nurse bots, also known as robot nurses, seem an inevitable part of our future. The European Union is funding scientist to develop mechanical helpers for hospitals.

The IWARD project imagines a future in which "intelligent robot swarms" will work together for the most basic nursing tasks of attendance, recognition, cleaning and delivery of services. The "flexible self-organizing modular swarm robotic systems" will be taking care of you in your declining years.

I can't say I'm really thrilled about this development. I don't know if you've ever been in an uncomfortable situation in a hospital, but I can tell you that having a warmly human, caring nurse hold your hand or take your arm is preferable to a robotic swarm, no matter how efficient they might become in the future.

IWARD project leaders, however, have the optimism of engineers everywhere. Project leader Thomas Schlegel, from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, remarked:

"The idea is not only to have mobile robots but also a full system of integrated information terminals and guide lights, so the hospital is full of interaction and intelligence.

"Operating as a completely decentralised network means that the robots can co-ordinate things between themselves, such as deciding which one would be best-equipped to deal with a spillage or to transport medicine."

If you'd like to take a look at how the robot nurse is presently implemented (this is not part of the IWARD project), take a look at "Sister Mary," a telepresence robot currently being tested at St. Mary's hospital in Paddington, London, in the UK.


(Sister Mary robot nurse)

The 5' 3" 215 pound robot has a camera and tilting screen; it is controlled remotely by a physician, whose face appears on the screen.

Science fiction writers have been thinking about robot nurses for a long time. Consider the psychophonic nurse from a 1928 short story by David Keller:

"I had her made by the Eastinghouse Electric Company. You see, she's just a machine nurse, but as she doesn't eat anything, is on duty twenty-four hours a day, and draws no salary, she's cheap at the price I paid."

"...let me show you how she works. She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments, and by means of tubes such as are used in the radio, she's very sensitive to sounds.
(Read more about the 1928 psychophonic nurse)

Look further into the future of health care: Read more about IWARD nurse bots at 'Nurse bots' to be developed by 2010 via gameshout.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/23/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.

X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
Little robots cooperating can do big tasks. Eventually.

An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Explored by science fiction authors.

Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...' - Robert Forward, 1985.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!

Clever Electric Truck Generates More Power Than It Uses
Better than a fictional electrotruck!

Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again."

Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'

Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'

Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
How hard can it be?

Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'

Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Fascinating!

Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.

MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'

Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'

Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'

Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'

CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video
'...the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.'

Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.