California Community

World’s Largest Fleet of Automated Robots to Deploy at UCSF Mission Bay Medical Center

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/30/15  10:29 PM PST
Robots in hospitals

By the San Jose Mercury News

A fleet of autonomous mobile robots programmed to transport items such as meals, medications, linens and lab specimens will begin operating around the clock Sunday when the new University of California at San Francisco’s Medical Center at Mission Bay opens to the public.

The robots, which resemble small, self-guided carts, are programmed and equipped with sensors to travel between UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, Bakar Cancer Hospital and the Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building, which make up the $1.52 billion medical center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

The 25 tireless robots at the new medical center, created by Aethon Inc. which cost the hospital about $6 million, are among the largest fleet working to assist a medical complex in the world.

According to Aethon Inc., the robots, which are already being used in over 140 hospitals around the world, can seamlessly navigate around obstacles and even ask people to move out of the way.

Each robot can carry up to 1,000 pounds and is expected to traverse about 12 miles inside the medical center each day once the building are fully operational.

Dr. Seth Bokser, UCSF’s associate chief medical officer and a pediatrician, said during a tour of the hospital today that these robots are an integral part of the hospital’s “staff.” They will allow clinicians to stop spending time moving supplies around the hospitals and create more time to focus on providing medical care, he said.

Read the Full Article at the San Jose Mercury News.