Realization and Safety Measures of Patient Transfer by Nursing-Care Assistant Robot RIBA with Tactile Sensors
Toshiharu Mukai*, Shinya Hirano*, Hiromichi Nakashima*,
Yuki Sakaida*, and Shijie Guo**
*RIKEN RTC, 2271-130 Anagahora, Shimoshidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya 463-0003, Japan
**SR Laboratory, Tokai Rubber Industries, 1 Higashi 3-chome, Komaki, Aichi 485-8550, Japan
In aging societies, there is a strong demand for robotics to tackle with problems caused by the aging population. Patient transfer, such as lifting and moving a bedridden patient from a bed to a wheelchair and back, is one of the most physically challenging tasks in nursing care, the burden of which should be reduced by the introduction of robot technologies. To this end, we have developed a new prototype robot named RIBA having human-type arms with tactile sensors. RIBA succeeded in transferring a human from a bed to a wheelchair and back. The tactile sensors play important roles in sensor feedback and detection of instructions from the operator. In this paper, after outlining the concept and specifications of RIBA, we will explain the tactile information processing, its application to tactile feedback and instruction detection, and safety measures to realize patient transfer. The results of patient transfer experiments are also reported.
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