Solis adopts robot SARA

Bison code: L.28187 (for GT: L.28194)

Together with the previous group of SSS students, we investigated how we can optimally use robot Sara. Now we would like to continue this research in which we will focus on specific recommendations/new features. We also want to investigate whether and how we can use (other) types of robots within Solis. And what these should be.

It is clear to everyone that we have and will have more and more elderly people in the near future. We do not have enough healthcare workers to provide the healthcare. Robots can add value with the healthcare that is needed. There are a lot of different kinds of robots within health organisations, like: Humanoid (human robot), robot animals, social robots, service robots, healthcare robots, robot prosthetics, robot arms and cleaning robots (https://robots.nu/nl/robots).

In addition to this, research has been conducted of the added value of robots in healthcare. We see this in:

  • improved communication between the elderly (Wada and Shibata, 2006)
  • robots reduce stress levels and feelings of loneliness (Banks, Willoughby & Banks, 2008)
  • there are many effective applications for people with dementia, such as combating apathy, effectively transfer instructions and stimulating in taking action (2017, TU Eindhoven)

At the same time, the last research shows that the expectation of healthcare robotics to offer a solution to the personnel shortage in the care sector is not yet fully fulfilled. The reasons for this are that the technology sometimes is not advanced enough for the robot to meet expectations, the knowledge of healthcare personnel about the possibilities is limited, and that lack of time makes it difficult to invest in learning how to use the robot.

We need to overcome these shortcomings!

Solis believes in the future of robots and has done extensive research on different robots and suppliers. Solis has mostly focused on social robots. Solis has chosen to work with SARA Robotics and purchased 3 robots for a term of 3 years. They arrived at the beginning of this year.

Purchasing robots is a first step, but we are far from finished. We will have to invest a lot of time in implementation and further development so that we can use the robots in a client-oriented way and that they make the work of care providers easier.

For those reasons, we want to focus on this within the smart solution semester. Students will investigate how we can improve a new feature of robot SARA. Next to this they will research the options of healthcare robotics within Zorggroep Solis.

Cluster: Health & Technology