“Whenever a new patient is admitted to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center here, a four-foot eight-inch talking robot rolls up to the nurses' station nearest to the patient's room, bringing doses of whatever drugs the doctor has ordered….
'When you look at the nursing and pharmacy labor shortage, you want to keep skilled personnel with as high-level tasks as possible,' Babbitt said. 'You don't necessarily want people hauling things around and waiting for elevators….'
Some Japanese companies now use robots to deliver mail. Researchers led by Carnegie Mellon's Sebastian Thrun are field-testing the “nursebot,” a talking robot that guides nursing home residents from their rooms to the dining hall or other areas — offering weather reports and television schedules along the way — and are working on an “intelligent walker” that can both navigate and physically support elderly patients….
TOBOR's human co-workers, for the most part, seem to ignore it. Children greet it with cries of delight. Some patients play chicken with it when they meet it in the hall, trying to fake out the robot's sonar 'vision.' ” [Washington Post]
I wonder if TOBOR has wireless and data storage functionality built into him so that a doctor without a PDA could use him to retrieve patient and reference information. [The Shifted Librarian]