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Enhancing Healthcare with Assistive Robotic Mobile Manipulation

Project description

Assistive robotics for healthcare

With pressure mounting on healthcare systems worldwide, assistive healthcare robotics is becoming an increasingly attractive option to address current challenges. The EU-funded HARMONY project aims to introduce robust, flexible and safe autonomous mobile manipulation robots for use in human-centred environments by making fundamental contributions to cognitive mechatronic technologies. The end-user partners have identified two areas where the new technology would provide the most benefits: the automation of just-in-time delivery tasks and the automation of hospital bioassay sample flow. HARMONY will demonstrate the new solutions, proving that robotic mobile manipulation systems can indeed meet the growing needs in the healthcare sector and beyond.

Objective

Harmony will enable robust, flexible and safe autonomous mobile manipulation robots for use in human-centred environments by making fundamental contributions in cognitive mechatronic technologies. Our targeted application area is assistive healthcare robotics, which is motivated by the mounting pressure on our healthcare system due to factors such as Europe's ageing population. While this presents an immense challenge for the healthcare industry, it is also an opportunity to proactively meet these challenges. Our current robotic automation solutions only offer “islands of automation” where either mobility or manipulation is dealt with in isolation. Harmony aims to fill this gap in knowledge on combining both robotic mobility and manipulation modalities in complex, human-centred environments. Harmony considers two use cases identified by our end user partners: 1) the automation of just-in-time delivery tasks; and 2) the automation of hospital bioassay sample flow. These use cases highlight existing processes that require fast, reliable and flexible automation to undertake the dull and repetitive tasks that are currently conducted by over-qualified staff. Critically, these tasks require robots that can interact with the world across a wide operational spectrum, from the (sub)millimetre precision required for fine manipulation to navigating across building- and campus-scale spaces. This motivates a holistic representation of the environment that facilitates the tight integration of socially aware planning, perception and control, and allows cognitive elements such as learning, reasoning and adaptation of actions for natural interaction. Harmony gathers the required expertise to tackle these core scientific and engineering challenges. Through demonstrators and open software modules, Harmony will show that robotic mobile manipulation systems can integrate seamlessly into our existing processes and spaces to meet growing needs in the healthcare industry and beyond.

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2018-20

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Sub call

H2020-ICT-2020-2

Coordinator

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Net EU contribution
€ 1 151 515,00
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Switzerland

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Region
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 151 515,00

Participants (9)