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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Canadian-Chinese robot nurse

Credit: Toronto Rehab Institute
A Canadian-Chinese consortium, funded with matching grants of $1-million from the Canadian and Chinese governments, is developing a  sophisticated patient lifting prototype robot, known as RoboNurse. The ride-on machine is designed to take a load off the backs of caregivers who are dealing with a growing population of obese patients. Guided by a trained nurse, the robot can lift very heavy patients out of bed and move them to a chair or down the hall for tests.
According to Dr. Geoff Fernie, Vice President of Research at Toronto Rehab and creator of a wide range of assistive devices and technology for people with disabilities, researchers collaborate with Canadian and Chinese manufacturers to produce a robotic device that could one day become ubiquitous in healthcare facilities and homes around the world―a market potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Under the deal, the Canadian partners will get the European and North American markets, while the Chinese will get the Asian markets. The team manufactures components and systems using highly automated low-cost manufacturing methods in Canada, but some of the manufacturing is also done in lower-wage China.

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