PAL Robotics and Accerion Successful in Hospital Delivery 

 September 16, 2020

By  Newsfeed

Barcelona-based PAL Robotics have successfully completed testing of their delivery robots in Barcelona hospitals this summer. The TIAGo Delivery and TIAGo Conveyor robots were deployed in Hospital Municipal of Badalona and Hospital Clinic Barcelona following a winning proposal submitted to the European DIH-Hero project. Accerion sensors were integrated onto the TIAGo Delivery Robot and TIAGo Conveyor Robot for use in this project.

The TIAGo mobile robots helped with the transportation of food trays to patient rooms and with the transportation of sensitive/secure goods.

Protecting Front Line Health Workers

Food delivery to quarantined patients is one application where mobile robots can help protect front line health workers from added exposure. With the COVID-19 pandemic every interaction with a patient adds risk to these workers. The TIAGo robots use an actuated conveyor so that the food tray can be automatically transferred to a table or furniture in the room.

Mobile robots are also suited for the transportation of goods like medication, medical supplies, blood samples. In this use case, the robots are equipped with a locked cargo bay onboard. Only authorized personnel with the appropriate access codes have access to the locked cargo bay in order to load or unload it.

At one of the hospitals that used the robots, the Hospital Municipal of Badalona, Sergi García Redondo of the Innovation and Projects Department said, “based on the two use cases we have tested, we have been able to see a lot of potential, and they will certainly improve the hospital’s logistics. We would drastically be able to reduce the need to do repetitive tasks with no added value for the patient, therefore the healthcare staff could focus directly on the patient.” 

Garcia also commented: “in the isolated patients scenario, there is a risk for the staff that carry out food deliveries, therefore improvement is crucial as it reduces the contact of health personnel with the isolated patient. This improvement is vital for the safety of the patient and the staff, but also to reduce the spread of infection in the hospital.”  

A Tiago mobile robot navigates a hospital aisle

The TIAGo delivery robots can autonomously navigate the hospital along its delivery routes. (Image courtesy of PAL Robotics)

Jordi Pagès, Head of Intralogisitcs at PAL Robotics said of the work that took place: “The main challenge for the project was that most of today’s automated mobile robots operate in warehouses and factories, whereas in a hospital, robots must navigate through narrow corridors, with lots of people. PAL Robotics and Accerion have been working together in this project to provide our robots with the most sophisticated navigation. The solution was developed in just two months.”

TIAGo Delivery and TIAGo Conveyor were deployed following the acceptance of a joint proposal from the project partners to DIH Hero in response to their open Call, ‘Fighting COVID-19 2020 for healthcare robotics.’  TIAGo Delivery and TIAGo Conveyor are able to transport items around hospitals and have an even better accuracy in their positioning thanks to the added cutting edge sensors by Accerion.

PAL Robotics’ mission is to enhance people’s quality of life through service robotics and automation technologies. PAL Robotics designs and manufactures highly integrated and reliable solutions for service industries and research institutions worldwide. 

Since 2004, PAL Robotics has developed state-of-the-art robots specially designed to solve customers’ needs. Today PAL Robotics is known for their humanoid robots REEM-C, TALOS, TIAGo and ARI, as well as their retail and manufacturing solutions, TIAGo Base and StockBot. 

Accerion indoor localization sensor

Accerion indoor localization sensor (image courtesy of Accerion)

Accerion, a Dutch company founded in 2015, provides autonomous positioning technology for robots and other mobile platforms that allows sub-millimeter positioning accuracy and predictability in dynamic environments. These solutions drive automation and efficiency in logistics, manufacturing, ecommerce and other industries around the world.

Accerion’s positioning solutions enable high-performance mobile robots and AGVs in intralogistics operations with virtual lines or grid mapping to allow for free navigation. The system’s advanced technology uses submillimeter-level positioning without additional infrastructure. Accerion’s portfolio includes Jupiter and Triton sensor systems, which can be quickly and easily integrated into robots and other mobile platforms.  

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