ABB has opened its first global health research center on the Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus in Houston, Texas – presenting a number of conceptual technologies, including the YuMi mobile robot, which will be designed to assist medical and lab staff in carrying out laboratory and logistics tasks related to hospitals.
The YuMi two-arm mobile robot will be able to sense and navigate autonomously around its human colleagues, while learning to find different routes from one location to another. It has the potential to perform a wide range of repetitive and time-consuming activities, including drug preparation, centrifugal loading and unloading, pipetting and handling of liquids, and taking and sorting of tubes.
At the TMC Innovation Institute, ABB will develop robots that are capable of performing repetitive, delicate and routine processes, thus allowing highly qualified medical staff and laboratories to take on more important roles and ultimately to handle a larger number of patients. The analysis done by ABB shows that repetitive tasks could be completed up to 50 percent faster with the help of automation, compared to current manual processes, with the added benefit that robots can work 24 hours a day.