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Robots Giving Sponge Baths In the Hospital –Proto Type at Georgia Tech

Posted Nov 09 2010 10:33pm

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to have something like this looking at image me when I wake up in a hospital bed, much less give me a sponge bath.  I guess that is ok as this is a proto type and not quite ready for prime time, yet.  The robot scans you first too!  From what else I am reading here this has some remote human intervention before it goes to work but once pointed in the places to be cleaned, it goes to work autonomously.  It has sponges on those claws!

There are some safety features, like a “stop” button, as you would not want an endless sponge bath by any means.  Ok so the study says this can be helpful with remotely giving patients in a nursing home a bath as well.  This robot was the dream work of Georgia Tech. 

I know hospitals are using a lot of robotics today but will this be one of them in the future?  Time will tell and right now I’m not quite positive that this may be one of the surviving technologies but I certainly could be wrong.  BD

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While many movies and TV shows would have us believe that hospital sponge baths are only carried out by nurses at either end of the attractiveness spectrum, the reality is no doubt generally somewhere in between. In fact, I’m sure a lot of patients and even more nurses would prefer such tasks were handled by a robot. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology seem to have reached the same conclusion and have developed a robot that can autonomously perform bed baths to keep bedridden patients clean.

For their work the researchers took Cody, a humanoid robot developed at Georgia Tech’s Healthcare Robotics Lab that comprises a Segway omnidirectional mobile base, two anthropomorphic arms with seven degrees of freedom and wrists equipped with 6-axis force/torque sensors. The end of the robot’s right arm is fitted with a specialized “bath mitt” and the robot gathers laser range data and images from a laser range finder and camera mounted above the robot’s torso.

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