Robots carry out their tasks more safely if they are controlled by another technology. This makes them much more suitable for use in the care sector, as revealed by a study conducted at the Robotics and Mechatronics department at the University of Twente. On 2 June, researcher Stefan Groothuis was awarded his PhD for this work.
In the coming years the use of assistive robotics, as they are known, will become ever more important due to the increased ageing of the population and the steadily rising costs of care. Already, robot technology is very valuable for people with a physical handicap when it comes to carrying out everyday tasks. A robot arm on a wheelchair or table, for instance, enables a person to open the door or pick up a glass by themselves, meaning that this group of patients is less dependent on health care workers and also increasing the patients’ quality of life.
OBSTACLES AND PERSONS
However, in practice the existing form of robotics are not ideal for a care-support function because the systems are based on robots that carry out repetitive tasks in industry. These robots generally behave as rigid and less safe systems: the system that controls the electromotors (actuators) lacks the flexibility that is required in an unfamiliar domestic environment. The robot will often seek the shortest route from A to B, taking little or no account of obstacles or persons in its immediate surroundings. And so there is a relatively large risk of the robot or the obstacle being damaged.
Adding a kind of elastic spring to the actuator can make the robot, or the robot arm, much safer, as shown by research carried out by the Robotics and Mechatronics department. This spring ensures that the robot behaves in a more elastic way: it yields when it collides with an obstacle. This technology (known as the variable stiffness actuator) has never before been used in assistive robotics. “We believe this can form the basis of a new generation of robots in the care sector: robots that can carry out more everyday tasks in a safer way, while simultaneously remaining extremely precise,” says researcher Stefan Groothuis.
A further improvement to the robot arm has been achieved by positioning the actuator differently. Normally each joint has one electromotor, enabling this joint to move. In the human body this movement is achieved by the muscles around a joint, such as in the hip joint. But humans also have various muscles that move two joints simultaneously, such as the biceps, which moves the elbow and shoulder. This principle has been incorporated in the research and it provides the robot arm with other elastic properties. Groothuis’ doctoral research has resulted in different variable stiffness actuators and a mathematical model for robot arms based on a network structure. With the help of this model it becomes relatively easy to adjust the positioning of actuators, which simplifies the analysis of these arms. This makes it possible to develop a robot arm ideally suited for the health care sector.
Learn more: ROBOT CARERS SAFER WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY
The Latest on: Robot caregivers
via Google News
The Latest on: Robot caregivers
- Could Robots Help In The Fight Against Pandemics? A Group of Researchers Say It's Possibleon April 6, 2020 at 11:30 am
Robots could be used to transport medicine and food to patients in hospitals, or deliver groceries to those unable to leave their homes. “They can help separate the patient from the caregiver, because ...
- This is Robot Prithvion April 5, 2020 at 2:27 pm
It can be controlled by a mobile app and can serve medicines to COVID-19 patients This will limit the direct contact of doctors/nurses have with the patients and reduce the risk of infection ...
- Robot pets have become tools of elderly care – but they raise crucial privacy concernson March 30, 2020 at 11:21 am
I am also interested in whether social robots, including robopets, can produce the same effects. Whether moving to a long-term care facility or a smaller home, many older adults find themselves ...
- AI to the aid: How robots can help in the fight against COVID-19on March 28, 2020 at 11:04 am
This can reduce the probability of healthcare workers and caregivers getting infected. So how soon will we have these robots? ''We are waiting for the production facility to open. From the time we ...
- A best friend, nurse, and caregiver all in one—meet 'Mabu'on March 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content ...
- Fight against coronavirus: how this Kerala startup is deploying humanoid robots to spread awareness, help caregiverson March 20, 2020 at 6:13 am
How has the coronavirus outbreak disrupted your life? And how are you dealing with it? Write to us or send us a video with subject line 'Coronavirus Disruption' to [email protected] ...
- Can Robots Ease the Caregiver Burden?on March 6, 2020 at 11:10 am
Some caregivers with packed schedules said they wanted the robots to offer them task prompts, like when to move a patient, so reminders are built into the behaviour. Others said that it would be ...
- More Than Two in Five American Caregivers Have Sacrificed Their Own Mental or Physical Health to Care for A Loved Oneon February 20, 2020 at 4:00 pm
By employing a HIPAA-compliant platform, the voice-enabled tabletop robot provides caregivers real-time insight into their loved one's adherence to both prescribed and over-the-counter medication ...
- Robot caregiver offers company and security to 94-year-old grandmotheron January 24, 2020 at 1:28 pm
A robot that monitors the health of elderly people living alone and allows them to have face-to-face conversations with relatives or doctors is being tested in Rome by 94-year-old Grandma Lea.
- Japan Tests Robots as Caregivers for the Elderlyon October 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm
“It saves us much time and effort and unnecessary suffering to the residents by carrying them from one place to the other,” caregiver Nobuyuki Yamazaki told EFE. Therapeutic robots and ...
via Bing News