Robots are revolutionizing the healthcare industry with increased precision and diagnostics power. Changi General Hospital, pictured, employs more than 50 robots to help care for patients. Scroll through to see more innovative robots reinventing healthcare.
Developed by Softbank, this robot is called "Pepper," designed to respond to the needs and preferences of people from different cultures. To see whether Pepper could help fight loneliness in older people, a study was conducted with care home residents in Britain and Japan. Researchers found
people who interacted with it for up to 18 hours over a two-week period "saw significant improvement to their mental health." Now, Changi General Hospital uses Pepper to socialize with dementia patients.
Another social robot "Paro", the therapeutic robot baby seal, has been used to comfort people affected by disasters, as well as the elderly and disabled. It was designed to provide the soothing qualities of a pet and was developed by Japan's National institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
Now in its fourth generation, the da Vinci surgical system was approved by the FDA for use for laparoscopic surgery, also known as keyhole surgery, back in 2000. Used routinely in surgeries for over two decades, surgical robots like da Vinci allow doctors to make smaller incisions, which reduces scarring and recovery time for patients.
This Italian woman is being assisted by the Giraffplus robot carer at her Rome apartment. The Giraffplus is connected to sensors that measure indicators such as blood pressure and communicate with medical staff.
A robot known as "Quintin Quarantino" was deployed by nurses at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, during the Covid-19 pandemic, to help ICU patients make video and voice calls with family members.
These multipurpose robots were donated
by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to Rwanda, to help fight the spread of coronavirus. They are used for temperature screening, monitoring the status of patients, and keeping medical records, according to Rwanda's Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, cleaning bots have surged in popularity, used to disinfect public spaces from hospitals to aircraft interiors, like this one, developed by LATAM Airlines. The autonomous robots use UV-C light to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, which is combined with standard hygiene procedures for extra safety.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, famed for Sophia, the "world's first robot citizen
," has unveiled its latest project: Grace. Designed with the healthcare market in mind, the trilingual android will act as a social companion for elderly people, while also using artificial intelligence to diagnose patients.
Another use for robotics is to help elderly and disabled people with movement and heavy lifting. Japanese company Cyberdyne developed a Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) suit, shown here.
To help people as they age, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is developing human-assist robots in its labs in California. This "gantry robot" is adapted for the home from a style more often seen in assembly and manufacturing lines. Since these robots hang from the ceiling like a bat, they save floor space and can reach other machines and parts easily from above. This TRI robot is able to complete tasks such as loading the dishwasher.
TRI says its philosophy is to develop robots which amplify human ability, instead of replacing human beings. Toyota established the institute in 2015 to research artificial intelligence (AI) with a $1 billion investment
. It is also testing more traditional floor-based robots, like the robot helper pictured here. TRI says this robot will have the same basic capabilities as its overhanging counterpart.
In the place of hands, the robots use "soft bubble grippers," air-filled cushions that gently pick up household objects. TRI says it hopes its systems will help people live independently for longer and will assist an increasingly aging workforce. But for now, these robots are just prototypes.
Boston Dynamics first introduced "Spot," the robot dog pictured here, in 2015, when it was still in development. During the coronavirus pandemic, researchers have modified "Spot" to measure patients' vital signs
. The aim is to remove the risk of health workers being exposed to patients showing Covid-19 symptoms