Thursday, October 24, 2013
Panasonic Develops Robot Courier For Hospitals
OSAKA (Nikkei)--Panasonic Corp. (6752) will begin selling this month a robotic system for transporting lab samples and medicine throughout hospitals.
The system, which was developed based on technology for factory automation, features a robot that can navigate hallways while avoiding people, wheelchairs and other obstacles using sensors, according to the results of field tests in group hospital facilities. The robot can even interface with hospital information systems to ride elevators.
After a destination is inputted via touch screen, the robot sets off at 3.6kph, slightly slower than human walking speed.
At about 60 million yen for a multifloor hospital, the system will likely cost half as much as traditional pneumatic tube transport systems. Panasonic aims to bring in 1 billion yen in sales in fiscal 2015, mostly from midsize and large hospitals.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 24 morning edition)