R2D2’s Next Assignment: Hospital Orderly

(By – Jenny Gold, Kaiser health News)

Meet the Tugs — a team of 27 robots now zooming around the hallways of the new University of California-San Francisco hospital at Mission Bay. They look a bit like R2D2, dragging a platform around behind them. Instead of drones, think of them more as little flatbed trucks, ferrying carts of stuff around the vast hospital complex — food, linens, medications, medical waste and garbage. And they do it more efficiently than humans.

“This one is going up to one of the floors. It’s carrying meals that were ordered in probably the last 20 minutes,” said Dan Henroid, who is in charge of this elite fleet, as he pointed to a robot motoring by him.

Henroid, who is also director of nutrition and food services for the USCF Medical Center, says each Tug travels about 35 miles each day. Over the past year, they have made more than 157,000 trips through the hospital. Read more…

 

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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