Hospitals

Adaptive Automation

MOBILE ROBOT TRANSPORTS STERILE GOODS IN HOSPITAL

Five hospital departments at Zealand University Hospital in Denmark now receive daily autonomous deliveries from the hospital’s sterilization center. The implementation of a mobile robot from Autonomous Mobile Industrial Robots (AMiR) is helping realize the goal of flexible and automated logistics throughout the upcoming 190,000 square meter super hospital.

His name is Optimus. This is how the staff at Zealand University Hospital in Denmark refer to the AMiR100 robot that has automated the internal transport of sterile disposable equipment in the hospital since June 2018. Optimus travels more than 10 kilometres per week, improving service, minimising storage space, saving steps, and preventing shortages, which has made him quickly become popular at the hospital.

“I am really surprised by how quickly both staff and patients have become accustomed to Optimus,” says Johnny Hansen, Operations Manager for Zealand University Hospital. “They refer to the robot as a colleague, and “he” has—in a few weeks—become part of the environment. It is indicative of the way we humans quickly perceive new technologies as a natural part of everyday life. With AMiR’s technology, we free service assistants from logistics tasks to warmer tasks like patient care. We have already achieved enormous gains by introducing this autonomous technology.”

Before Optimus arrived, service assistants were providing weekly deliveries of disposable equipment to hospital departments. The manual procedure involved heavy lifting and an uncomfortable twist in the body. Now the robot delivers equipment daily, making sure that the departments do not run out of goods.

“Heavy, monotonous and repetitive tasks must be taken over by technology,” states Hansen. “I am happy that our cooperation with AMiR and the distribution partner, has shown that we can create great workplace health benefits by automating physically demanding transportation tasks.”

Hansen explains that robot technology changes the way tasks are carried out, requiring job descriptions to be reorganized and redefined in order to get the most value. “This changes the way we work,” he says. “We have all the reasons to believe that we started a positive automation wave. We have freed up both the human resources that were deployed for transportation and expensive square meters used as depots. At the same time, we can improve the entire flow and minimize waiting times thanks to more frequent and targeted deliveries.”