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Service robotics technologies to support care staff

: Graf, Birgit

Biomedizinische Technik 59 (2014), No.s1, pp.S451, Track G
ISSN: 0013-5585
ISSN: 1862-278X
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik (DGBMT Jahrestagung) <48, 2014, Hannover>
Journal Article, Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
service robot; Pflegeroboter; Pflegeunterstützung; Altenhilfe; Care-O-bot®; Roboter

At a time when skilled staff are in short supply, it is essential to give consideration to the use of assistive systems in the care sector. Service robots can make a significant contribution to relieving the pressure on care staff. In order to identify the demand of the care workers for support, a requirements study in an elderly care facility has been conducted. This included interviews with members of the management and care workers as well as accompanying care workers during their work. The requirement analysis showed that care workers would specifically welcome assistance with their routine day-to-day activities, such as transport tasks and documentation. They also expressed the wish that new assistive systems should help to reduce their physical workload – especially in relation to the lifting of persons. In addition, it would be helpful if such systems could support and promote the independence of patients. The presentation will introduce several solutions that were designed and/or implemented by Fraunhofer IPA or their project partners, specifically a small and versatile transport vehicle able to independently pick up and transport containers and to assist care workers on night shift by carrying out patrols for them, a care trolley for automatically providing care staff with the necessary care utensils and documenting their use, a new lifter equipped with additional assistive features making operation by the care personnel easier, a service robot serving drinks to the residents. It can be predicted that the first products for this area of application will be made available in the coming years - e.g. transport robots or assistive systems equipped with robotic functions and easy-to-use control interfaces. In all cases, these systems are controlled and used by humans and not robots that independently administer care to patients or make their own decisions.