posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:29 AM
I guess this belongs here just as well as in a new thread.
Courier robots get traction in hospitals
In a push to lower costs and free up workers for more critical tasks, hospital officials are turning more and more to robots like TUG to ply their
It's unclear how many automated courier robots are being used in the nation's hospitals. There may be six dozen to about 120, according to experts
and a small number of private U.S. companies making the robots.
Robotic couriers have struggled to get widespread acceptance in hospitals, largely because they have been viewed as toys rather than tools.
Even so, Montefiore Medical Center in New York City has used a HelpMate for about five years and, in May, Aethon, which has five TUGs running in
hospitals, won a federal contract to sell its robots to Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide.
Other hospitals could soon turn to self-guided robots to counteract financial and staffing shortages.
According to a May report from the American Hospital Association, 110,000 nursing jobs went unfilled as of January and a third of the nation's
hospitals lost money.
A 2000 study by Manuel Rosetti, an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Arkansas, found that the University of Virginia Hospital
could save as much as $218,000 a year if it replaced 15 human couriers with six HelpMate robots, which would pay for themselves in little over three