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Robot to help hospitalized patients keep in touch with their loved ones

Shared by Ana Ribeiro on 2020-07-02 22:17

About the solution

Patients who were hospitalized during the Covid-19 pandemic were not allowed to receive visits from their loved-ones, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. However, to make sure the patients could still keep in touch with their family and friends, a group of experts from Italy got together in a coalition called Low-Hanging Fruits, to develop LHC-Connect.

The LHC-Connect is a semi-autonomous robotic device that connects isolated patients with the people they love. The device is completely open source and can be made at limited costs using commercially available components. The software was developed by engineers from the Italian Institute of Technology and the University of Pisa and is available online for download.

According to Antonio Bicchi, scientific advisor of the project, “the base of the robot is a modified version of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner”. Attached to the base that is a tripod that supports a pedestal, able to hold a tablet or smartphone. The robot’s software allows it to be remotely controlled, eliminating the need for human contact.

The device is already being used in several medical facilities in Italy. Antonio Bicchi explaines how the robot is used in a hospital setting: “The hospital’s administrative staff helps patients schedule when they want to make a call to their families or friends. At the appointed time, a human operator—who is located away from the patient—uses a computer to drive LHF-Connect to the patient’s bedside. Using three-way calling, the robot’s operator calls the family member or friend using the mobile device, which is located on the pedestal. The operator steps out of the control room while the patient is speaking with his family to give them privacy.”

Adapted from: https://spectrum.ieee.org/news-from-around-ieee/the-institute/ieee-membe...

More information: https://en.lhfconnect.net/

https://youtu.be/CcwXSDfCVhk

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

To help hospitalized patients keep in touch with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic, experts from Italy got together to form the LHC coalition, developing LHC-Connect – a robotic device that allows communication between patients and their families.

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