Tokyo, 2 March 2022 – Toppan, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has leveraged its trademarked TransBots digital twin solution to conduct a pilot test of the use of robots to support nursing services. The results of the test will be displayed in the ‘Hospital × Robot × Covid-19 Prevention with Kanagawa’ booth (East Hall 7) at the International Robot Exhibition 2022 (iREX2022). This is one of the world’s largest robot trade shows, which will be held from 9 through 12 March 2022 at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center.
TransBots is a digital twin solution developed by Toppan that uses virtual reality (VR) and computer vision (CV) technologies for remote, central management and control of multiple types of service robots. TransBots was employed in the pilot test to direct multiple robots of different types to support nursing and the work of healthcare professionals by moving autonomously within hospitals and performing reception and patient guidance functions for wards and testing rooms.
Hospital × Robot × Covid-19 Prevention with Kanagawa
The pilot test was part of a project by Kanagawa Prefecture to use robots in supporting measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It was conducted on January 25 this year at Shonan Kamakura General Hospital in Kamakura, Kanagawa. The objective was to identify technical challenges in terms of safety and operability that need to be addressed so that nursing support robots can be introduced to medical facilities with the aim of reducing the human workload.
Scenarios for support services that could be provided by the robots were devised based on feedback from nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as through on-site observation. Potential risks within hospitals were assessed and the suitability of the types of service was examined. Risks that could be caused by robots were analyzed and technical issues identified. This made it possible to ascertain the technical challenges for practical use and to confirm the potential for nursing support provided by robots. Verification of service design was overseen by Satoru Tokuhisa, associate professor of Kyushu University’s School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation.
“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan was looking at ways to reduce the workload for nursing and care services, including the use of robots,” said Tomoichiro Shibue, deputy head of Toppan’s Business Innovation Center. “TransBots can facilitate the use and control of robots for diverse services in healthcare settings and the results of this pilot test will enable us to refine the solution towards practical implementation.”