At the end of 2019, China’s population of 65 years and over was about 170 million, accounting for 12.6% of the total population. It is expected that China’s population will reach a peak of 1.45 billion in 2030, and the proportion of elderly people will account for about 25%, far exceeding the United Nations’ 20% “super-aged society”. "standard.
Worldwide, the medical industry also faces many challenges: In addition to the continuing shortage of nursing staff, the pressure on medical workers is also increasing. For example, nursing staff often have back muscle and bone problems due to nursing work, resulting in absenteeism or even inability to work normally.
In order to support nursing staff and make patients more independent, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the AdaMeKoR (Adaptive Multi-component Robot System for Health-Care) project, which seeks solutions to assist medical workers , While creating more autonomy for patients.
The project will start on March 15, 2020 and will last until March 14, 2023. The project fund is 1.8 million euros.
△Adaptable multifunctional intelligent hospital bed
The AdaMeKoR project aims to develop an adaptable multifunctional intelligent hospital bed. The system plans a robotic arm to realize the nursing function, and the other function is bed-wheelchair transfer. The project intends to create a series of sensor components, for example, the posture of the hospital bed can be adjusted as needed. In addition, the system hopes to monitor the posture of the caregiver and provide input for posture optimization in case of overload.
△ Conceptual diagram of robotic nursing system
The research project is coordinated by the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe (Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe), the universities of Osnabrueck and Oldenburg (Oldenburg) and DFKI.
The Robot Technology Innovation Center, led by Professor Frank Kirchner, will develop robotic systems for patient transfer, such as transferring from a bed to a wheelchair, and we know that this is a great physical burden for medical staff. This can be compensated by applying robots to the daily work of medical staff, especially when they can safely handle patients with heavier weights.
In view of the fact that the initial phase of the project has not yet been announced, here is the nursing robot RIBA II released by the Nagoya Research Institute as a reference. This robot can "lift" the patient to realize bed-wheelchair transfer.
△ RIBA II transfer robot
The Cyber-Physical Systems Research Department, led by Professor Rolf Drechsler, is studying the control part of the robot arm. The goal is to realize the joystick control of the robot arm. This arm can be used as a third hand for people with limited mobility. To this end, the robotic arm is installed on the bedside table and controlled by a joystick or a more complex 3D mouse to assist in object grasping. This product will become another boon for special people.
△Robot arm self-applicable multifunctional sports bed
The University of Oldenburg is responsible for developing sensors that analyze the posture of medical staff, helping the project realize robots, sensing systems and automation technology to assist patients in treatment, and ultimately improving the health and quality of life of nursing staff and the target group of patients.
Hot topic research
Human-computer interaction: user-friendly forms the basis of multi-modal human-computer technology interaction. The interactive system combines voice, gestures and facial expressions with body interaction. It involves a combination of users, tasks, and domains in order to make the dialogue behavior as natural as possible, and to stably understand the dialogue even when interference is involved. In the future, the user interface can even abandon the traditional mouse and keyboard, and enable a more intuitive and efficient interactive mode.
Robots: With the maturity of collaborative robot technology, robots are born out of the limitations of working in traditional industrial robot guardrails, allowing them to be used in a collaborative mode that performs tasks with humans. The programming aspect is based on complex, massively parallel embedded system solutions. Here, an interdisciplinary team is composed of computer scientists, biologists, mathematicians, computer linguists, industrial designers, electrical engineers, physicists, and psychologists.
Autonomous systems: Autonomous systems can independently perform, learn, and solve complex tasks, and can respond to unpredictable events, thereby assisting the daily life of special people; in addition, they can flexibly collaborate with workers in production; and Work independently in dangerous environments that are not convenient for human participation. Technologies such as machine learning, network security, and computers are playing an increasingly important role in the development and use of autonomous systems.
Sensors and networks: From smart phones and automobiles to medical technology and cloud computing, the embedded and autonomous system networks surrounding our daily lives are growing. With the increasing complexity of the sensing system, the requirements for its performance, safety, accuracy and reliability are also increasing.
For special groups, automated robotic nursing systems can improve their autonomy and quality of life; for nursing staff, robot-assisted transfer can significantly reduce the physiological burden, and can effectively prevent lower back injuries and diseases. In addition, the results can even expand and create the following values:
Smart home and assisted life: The robotic care system allows the elderly and special groups to lead a safe and independent life through innovative solutions, improving the quality of life and encouraging them to actively and confidently participate in social interactions; At the same time, smart home technology has created the possibility for the further application of robotic care systems. The project proves that in addition to applications in the industrial field, robotics can also be dedicated to the care or assistance of special populations.
△ The third hand assists life
Health and medical: In medicine, artificial intelligence has the potential to diagnose difficult-to-detect diseases earlier and optimize treatment. The robotic nursing system, combined with technologies such as image processing, pattern recognition, and medical data evaluation, can provide doctors and medical staff with more support to achieve system-assisted treatment and rehabilitation.