Proceedings PaperNurse's Aid And Housekeeping Mobile Robot For Use In The Nursing Home Workplace
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The large nursing home market has several natural characteristics which make it a good applications area for robotics. The environment is already robot accessible and the work functions require large quantities of low skilled services on a daily basis. In the near future, a commercial opportunity for the practical application of robots is emerging in the delivery of housekeeping services in the nursing home environment. The robot systems will assist in food tray delivery, material handling, and security, and will perform activities such as changing a resident's table side drinking water twice a day, and taking out the trash. The housekeeping work functions will generate cost savings of approximately $22,000 per year, at a cost of $6,000 per year. Technical system challenges center around the artificial intelligence required for the robot to map its own location within the facility, to find objects, and to avoid obstacles, and the development of an energy efficient mechanical lifting system. The long engineering and licensing cycles (7 to 12 years) required to bring this type of product to market make it difficult to raise capital for such a venture.