The aim of the Social Robots for Medicine Delivery project is to develop a robot that can not only assist in medicine delivery at care institutions, but also provide clients with opportunities for social interaction.
The core driver of the project is to reduce the problematic workload of nurses. There is a clear need for the development of such a medicine delivery robot, as the delivery of medicine currently takes up a large share of the daily working time of care staff. The smooth and correct distribution of medicine is also of vital importance to the clients of care institutions.
Through the addition of a social dimension to the delivery robot, clients can also be provided with additional mental stimulation in their everyday lives, if they so choose.
Pilot at the Kustaankartano Service Centre
In Finland, the medicine delivery robot will be piloted at Kustaankartano Comprehensive Service Centre in autumn 2019. During the pilot, which is co-ordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki, the robot will be tested by approximately 30 service centre nurses and clients over a period of three weeks. A similar pilot is also being carried out in Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
“We at Kustaankartano welcome technologies that are user-friendly and enable us to extend interactions with our clients”, says Head Nurse Mark Kanyingi at Kustaankartano Comprehensive Service Centre.
The aim of the pilots is to ensure that the robot developed meets the needs of users and provides genuine improvements in regard to medicine delivery practices at care institutions. The robot is being manufactured by the Finland-based GIM Robotics.
A European collaboration
The project was kicked-off in January by the project team (see photo) in Helsinki, Finland. The robot is being developed in collaboration between three project partners: Forum Virium Helsinki, Bright Cape Holding from the Netherlands and Technische Universität Berlin from Germany.
The project, which is set to run until the end of 2019, is funded mainly by EIT Digital and participating companies. In the project, Forum Virium Helsinki’s work is funded by EIT Digital and co-funded by the City of Helsinki.