Panasonic's range of Hospi robots are designed to take over drudge work in hospitals — toting around medicine, patients, and performing rote tasks like hair washing. Now, the company's porter bot (the Hospi type R) has been cleared for personal care duties, both in Japan and abroad. Panasonic says it's the first robot in the world to meet this particular combination of safety standards.
Hospi-R is basically a medicine cabinet on wheels, designed to move fragile or bulky medicine and equipment around a hospital. It uses a combination of cameras, Wi-Fi, and preprogrammed maps to navigate around buildings, and is capable of using elevators that have been kitted out with the right hands-free components. (Don't test it on stairs, though.) An ID security card system keeps unauthorized individuals from pilfering its contents, and it moves at a sedate (but not sluggish) one meter a second. Hospi-R has already undergone trials in Singapore, but its new safety certification could see it moving into new territories.
"Hello patient, your medicine is inside of me!!" (Image credit: Panasonic)