Development of an intelligent care cart and new supplies concepts for care homes and hospitals
In Germany alone, mobile robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are used in over 50 hospitals for the supply and disposal of everyday items such as patients' meals, laundry, waste and recyclables. Normally, these vehicles operate in segregated areas (service floors/lifts) accessible only to trained personnel. Technological advances in the navigation of mobile robots today make it possible for driverless transport systems to be used also in publicly accessible areas. One of the goals of the collaborative project "Service Robotics for Support with Personal Services" (SeRoDi, www.serodi.de) sponsored by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is to make use of this technology to develop an intelligent care cart to assist the care staff at care homes and hospitals. As a basis, the workflows and deployment of various supplies trolleys were analysed at two residential care homes in Mannheim and on a ward at the university clinic of Mannheim. For technical realization of the intelligent care cart, a set of key requirements was developed based on these data collection surveys as well as on the currently used supplies trolleys. Three units of the intelligent care cart are currently being constructed on the basis of MLR's CASERO 4 platform. Initial practical evaluations at the participating institutions are planned in spring 2016.
King, Ralf Simon
Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft und Technologiemanagement IAT, Universität Stuttgart