Sunway Medical Centre has announced that it has started using robots this week. More specifically, it now has four robots called BellaBots helping out at its paediatric wards.
The robot itself looks pretty basic, consisting of four shelves for meal trays. This allows the BellaBot to deliver meals to patients’ rooms. All that’s needed to be done is for staff to place the meal tray on the robot and input the room for it to be delivered to.
As you’d expect from a robot of this type, it is capable of manoeuvring around obstacles. It can even ask people to make way for it when manoeuvring is not possible.
You might be thinking, why is this used specifically in the paediatric ward? The answer is simply because it is given the shape of a cat’s head around the touch panel, and the interface commonly has a cat’s face being animated when instructions are not being keyed in.
But beyond its duties in the paediatric wards, Sunway Medical Centre says that the BellaBot can also be used as its Lobby Ambassadors. This means that, in lieu of a human staffer, you can ask the robot for directions and it will guide you to your location.
The BellaBot serves as a way to minimise close contact between people during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is probably more true when it is serving as a Lobby Ambassador, as in the paediatric wards patients will still need someone to take the food trays off of the robot if they are not able to themselves.
When the announcement was made, Sunway Medical Centre says that there are four BellaBots in service. The private hospital says that it has invested about RM250000 for the four, and is looking at the possibility of having more in the future.