In the 1950s, an industry was able to create the first-ever robot. It saw a change in tasks especially, in industries. This interest in robots became popular and in the 1980s, the first-ever robotic surgery was conducted. Surgeons could officially operate on patients far away, for instance, soldiers injured on battlefields in different countries.
Over the last couple of decades, more machines and collaborative robots were made and made life easier at homes, offices, and hospitals. One can easily do laundry and vacuum the floor at the same time, saving time and energy.
Also known as Cobots, there are five types of collaborative robots used in all sectors but let us focus on the medical world.
- Pre-programmed Robots
- Humanoid Robots
- Autonomous Robots
- Teleoperated Robots
- Augmenting Robots
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These are robots that are programmed ahead of time on specific tasks to run. In hospitals where the staff is often overwhelmed with work, a cobot named the TUG is used to help carry out tasks.
they carry heavy loads, deliver food to staff, or even deliver drugs and files to doctors and nurses.
This has remarkably helped the staff to entirely focus on their patients without the need to run through corridors finding things.
These are robots that are designed to mimic human behaviors, and some look like humans. COVID hit the world terribly and got the hospitals tied up with tens of thousands of patients reporting daily. With technology, cobots like Pepper have been designed to make sure there is social distancing between patients.
Everyone in the hospital must wear a mask, these robots keep on educating and reminding people of the dangers and ways to prevent more COVID infections. Some are also placed as receptionists in some hospitals. They have reduced workloads and stress that was seen affecting staff.
COVID times are really hard times, especially for the medics and medical staff in general. Technology has come in handy in cases where constant sanitization in the hospitals needs to be done. A cobot named Roomba has helped in cleaning and sanitizing the areas.
An area that could be covered by three humans and still take close to an hour to clean can easily be done by Roomba in less than an hour. This has not only saved time but has saved the staff from getting infections.
These robots are programmed in a way that they can make their own decision and also act on them. They use a sensor motion to perceive their environment,
These are the kinds of robots that are extremely important and fascinating in the medical world especially with the COVID. These robots are uniquely designed to act as eyes, ears, and availability of the medics so that the medics can avoid isolated wards packed with COVID patients.
The robots make rounds in the said isolated wards, administer drugs, and collect data needed by the medics working from a distance. This has reduced physical contact with patients, and hence the spread of the virus has been reduced among medics.
There is a cobot named Yumi that helps medics in laboratories by collecting samples and conducting tests, this is perfect since humans can be prevented from catching viruses collected from infected samples.
These cobots are remotely controlled by humans using remote signals sent through either, satellite, a local wireless system (Wi-Fi), or over the internet.
In modern-day science, we have all witnessed a patient or two who has an enhanced leg or arm after amputation. These are called augmentation robots that help enhance a patient’s mobility without hindering the normal previous mobility.
The most common example is the prosthetic limb. These types of robots are connected to a patients´ muscles so that the patient can cause the arm or limb to move. The process is called targeted muscle reinnervation.
Some athletes and soldiers have these advanced robotic parts and continue living like any other person. Companies like universal robots are largely working on developing such robots that will help even the paralyzed patients to start moving around, such technologies have helped patients all over the world.
With every technology and change, there is always both negative and positive outcome. And it’s always okay when the positive ones are more than the negatives.
- It has replaced humans in some areas meaning it causes unemployment to some.
- They can only perform tasks programmed in them meaning in the case of any emergency, they will be unable to handle the situation,
- It could be time-consuming to train medical staff on how to use them.
- They are expensive as compared to hiring humans.
- When it comes to safety, robots are considered the best alternatives. For instance, carrying heavy and dangerous objects, they can be commanded to do the tasks without the fear of anyone being injured in the process
- Humans may sometimes need bathroom, lunch, or stretching breaks which can hinder the constancy of work, with robots, once programmed to do a specific task, they do so uninterruptedly and consistently.
- Since they don’t need breaks it means the speed is also higher and hence tasks will be completed faster.
- Since they are programmed to perform tasks for precise and repetitive motion, robots end up performing to perfection.
- in the instances of Yumi the robot and Roomba the cleaner, employees are happier per se since it has made them avoid riskier tasks in hospitals.
In conclusion, robots have changed lives in hospitals to an extent where health workers and patients have benefited in great ways. From learning how to walk again, to getting hospitals cleaned up without any interruptions, conducting surgeries while patients are miles away to getting groceries and lunches at your own time on commands.
In the future, there will be more demand for goods and services and it will see the growth of more cobics. All industries will be forced to invest in cobics for perfection and speed in production.