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 ")

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

 

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

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

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.