Robots, patients’ little helpers

Beginning in October 2015, nurses and doctors gained new assistants for providing minor healthcare services to patients at Humber River Hospital in Toronto (Canada). There, robots are also wearing scrubs. Recording patient information, dispensing medication, delivering meals and performing blood tests: all sorts of tasks are being automated. The goal is to make life easier for healthcare workers, not to replace them. All these tasks are being carried out as part of a man-machine partnership.
It begins with maintenance. To deliver meals, medication or equipment to the rooms in the hospital, with its 13 floors and surface area of 160,000 square metres, the mobile Swisslog robots can push carts, take the lift, deliver orders and then return to their charging stations. All without any human intervention. The pharmacist is a robot arm that can prepare medications according to prescriptions and dosages entered into a computer by the staff. Stäubli is a conscientious professional who is also responsible for checking for patient allergies and treatment contraindications. One of its mechanical “selves” is in charge of working with the toxic chemicals that are used for chemotherapy. This helps prevent accidents.
The pharmacist is a robot arm that can prepare medications according to prescriptions and dosages entered into a computer by the staff.
In addition to added safety, having robots in the hospital provides greater comfort to patients. In the radiology unit, laser guiding, silent MRIs and 4D snapshots get images from every angle without forcing patients to contort themselves into awkward poses.
Meanwhile, the presence of robots in patients’ rooms does not mean there is no human contact. Quite the reverse, actually. The use of digital tablets makes it possible for each patient to not only consult their medical history, but also remain in contact with their loved ones or staff members.

To go further
In the future, will operations be carried in our living rooms with no human intervention?2016 EDF Pulse AwardsDiscover the projects competiting in the E-Health category

Source:: Robots, patients’ little helpers

[EN] Des robots aux p’tits soins pour les patients

[EN] Depuis le mois d’octobre 2015, infirmiers et médecins ne sont plus seuls à être aux petits soins des patients du Humber River Hospital, à Toronto (Canada). Ici, les robots ont aussi revêtu la blouse blanche. Enregistrement administratif des malades, pharmacopée, alimentation ou encore analyse sanguine : pas une mission n’échappe à l’automatisation. Avec l’ambition non de remplacer le personnel médical, plutôt de celle de lui simplifier la tâche. Car toutes sont menées en corrélation entre l’homme et la machine.
A commencer par la maintenance. Acheminant les repas, les médicaments ou les fournitures des chambres sur 13 étages et près de 160 000 m2, les robots mobiles Swisslog ont la capacité de pousser les charriots, de prendre l’ascenseur, de livrer les commandes puis de retourner à leur station de charge. En toute autonomie. L’apothicaire, lui, est un bras robot capable d’effectuer les préparations médicamenteuses à partir des ordonnances et dosages saisis par le personnel sur ordinateur. En professionnel consciencieux, Stäubli a en outre la charge de vérifier les allergies et autres contre-indications thérapeutiques auxquelles pourraient être soumis le patient. L’un de ses alter ego mécaniques manipule de son côté les éléments toxiques pour l’homme nécessaires à la chimiothérapie. Une manière de prévenir tout risque d’accident.
L’apothicaire, lui, est un bras robot capable d’effectuer les préparations médicamenteuses à partir des ordonnances et dosages saisis par le personnel sur ordinateur.
Plus sure, la robotique en terre hospitalière est également synonyme de confort. Ainsi en salle de radiologie, guidage laser, IRM silencieuse et cliché 4D assurent des prises de vue sous tous les angles sans obliger les malades à s’improviser contorsionnistes.
Dans les chambres des patients enfin, l’afflux de robots n’exclue pas la présence humaine. Au contraire, il la renforce grâce à l’utilisation de tablettes numériques permettant à chacun, outre la consultation de son dossier médical, de rester en contact permanent avec ses proches ou les membres du service.
Un test grandeur nature qui préfigure, peut-être, l’hôpital de demain.

Pour aller plus loin
Les blocs opératoires dans Prometheus (2012) et Elysium (2013)
Au Canada des patients testent un hôpital automatisé
PRIX EDF PULSEDécouvrez tous les projets sélectionnés dans la catégorie e Santé

Source:: [EN] Des robots aux p’tits soins pour les patients

Planet Progress, episode 11

In this episode of Planet progress:

The DOKK1 car park: automated parking which maximises space
HeyDo Cup: a glass which can analyse the quality of its contents
Fluxo: controlling room lights with this connected lamp
Revolights: always be seen when you’re out on your bike
Mos Pack: recharging your devices wherever you are
Skulpt Chisel: a system which measures muscle and optimises your training

To go furtherMore Planet progress’ episodes on YouTube

Source:: Planet Progress, episode 11

Robots put on their white coats

Robear, the ideal nurse’s assistant

An automated Teddy Bear that assists caregivers: that was the idea brought to life by researchers at Riken, a Japanese laboratory in Nagoya. Kawaii results guaranteed: looking like a mix between a bear and the Michelin Man, Robear uses its big paws to carry patients with limited mobility from their bed to a wheel-chair and vice versa, helping ease the load on nursing assistants. Equipped with sensors, it does its utmost to not shake patients while moving them. Toshiharu Mukai, one of the project’s overseers, explained to AFP that, “We chose this animal look from among other suggestions made by our researchers because it projects an image of ‘strength and friendliness'”. This giant with a sweet face can move through the most cramped spaces, thanks to its slimmed down weight of 140 kilos, compared to 230 for its predecessor. How reassuring.
Kori Robotics, the Little Chemist

Preparing chemotherapy treatments is a task as delicate as it is dangerous, involving the handling of medically toxic substances. An android designed by the Basque company Kori Robotics hopes to undertake this mission, keeping medical personnel out of harm’s way. Another benefit is that these two mechanised arms are fanatical workaholics, capable of preparing up to one hundred chemotherapy treatments per day. Without ever risking an overdose. How safe.
Rosa, a brain with surgical precision

It seems bulky and reluctant, you’d worry that it was clumsy. But in reality, Rosa is a robot with an implacable gaze and surgical precision. Rosa is able to locate a tumour in a patient’s skull with millimetre precision and then lay out the least invasive path for the surgeon to follow. How? After a brain scan and a laser calibration, the robotic arm is deployed above the target to show the surgeon where to cut. The surgeon then takes over and performs the operation.
Shorter surgeries, smaller incisions, lower risk of infection, and shorter patient recovery time: the benefits of this kind of microsurgery are enormous. It even allows for operations on children under the age of two. It’s not surprising then that this creation, designed by Medtech, a Montpellier company that is at the forefront of “French Tech”, has already been installed in several operating theatres, such as the one at Sanbo Hospital in Beijing, and at the Texas Children’s Hospital. How impressive.
Photo: Medtech
Further reading: “Will operations be carried out by robots in the future?” Interview with Bertrand Nahum, founder and CEO of Medtech.

Double Robotics, the ideal companion for ill children.

At the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, technology is not just for healing the body. It also helps to soothe troubled minds. Children with illnesses are like prisoners in their hospital rooms during long cancer treatments; however, they can count on Doctor Double to break their isolation. Double Robotics is a telepresence robot clown: an iPad mounted on a pole with two wheels that can be controlled with a smartphone or computer, allowing the patient to stay in touch with medical personnel and loved ones. The goal is to strengthen human connections and to brighten the hallways of paediatric wings. How entertaining. Robo-Jerry II, the Automated Guinea Pig

An idea that will have more people than just the animal rights activists wagging their tails. Dreamed up at Cornell University in New York State, Robo Jerry II is an automated dog with all of Man’s Best Friend’s traits. Covered with sensors, this patient simulation reacts to the slightest touch of student veterinarians working in the training facility. This allows students to perfect their technique and to respond to any emergency without causing any animal suffering. A feline version has also been developed. How educational.

Source:: Robots put on their white coats

Robots put on white lab coats

Robear, the ideal nurse’s assistant

An automated Teddy Bear that assists caregivers: that was the idea brought to life by researchers at Riken, a Japanese laboratory in Nagoya. Kawaii results guaranteed: looking like a mix between a bear and the Michelin Man, Robear uses its big paws to carry patients with limited mobility from their bed to a wheel-chair and vice versa, helping ease the load on nursing assistants. Equipped with sensors, it does its utmost to not shake patients while moving them. Toshiharu Mukai, one of the project’s overseers, explained to AFP that, “We chose this animal look from among other suggestions made by our researchers because it projects an image of ‘strength and friendliness'”. This giant with a sweet face can move through the most cramped spaces, thanks to its slimmed down weight of 140 kilos, compared to 230 for its predecessor. How reassuring.
Kori Robotics, the Little Chemist

Preparing chemotherapy treatments is a task as delicate as it is dangerous, involving the handling of medically toxic substances. An android designed by the Basque company Kori Robotics hopes to undertake this mission, keeping medical personnel out of harm’s way. Another benefit is that these two mechanised arms are fanatical workaholics, capable of preparing up to one hundred chemotherapy treatments per day. Without ever risking an overdose. How safe.
Rosa, a brain with surgical precision

It seems bulky and reluctant, you’d worry that it was clumsy. But in reality, Rosa is a robot with an implacable gaze and surgical precision. Rosa is able to locate a tumour in a patient’s skull with millimetre precision and then lay out the least invasive path for the surgeon to follow. How? After a brain scan and a laser calibration, the robotic arm is deployed above the target to show the surgeon where to cut. The surgeon then takes over and performs the operation.
Shorter surgeries, smaller incisions, lower risk of infection, and shorter patient recovery time: the benefits of this kind of microsurgery are enormous. It even allows for operations on children under the age of two. It’s not surprising then that this creation, designed by Medtech, a Montpellier company that is at the forefront of “French Tech”, has already been installed in several operating theatres, such as the one at Sanbo Hospital in Beijing, and at the Texas Children’s Hospital. How impressive.
Photo: Medtech
Further reading: “Will operations be carried out by robots in the future?” Interview with Bertrand Nahum, founder and CEO of Medtech.

Double Robotics, the ideal companion for ill children.

At the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, technology is not just for healing the body. It also helps to soothe troubled minds. Children with illnesses are like prisoners in their hospital rooms during long cancer treatments; however, they can count on Doctor Double to break their isolation. Double Robotics is a telepresence robot clown: an iPad mounted on a pole with two wheels that can be controlled with a smartphone or computer, allowing the patient to stay in touch with medical personnel and loved ones. The goal is to strengthen human connections and to brighten the hallways of paediatric wings. How entertaining. Robo-Jerry II, the Automated Guinea Pig

An idea that will have more people than just the animal rights activists wagging their tails. Dreamed up at Cornell University in New York State, Robo Jerry II is an automated dog with all of Man’s Best Friend’s traits. Covered with sensors, this patient simulation reacts to the slightest touch of student veterinarians working in the training facility. This allows students to perfect their technique and to respond to any emergency without causing any animal suffering. A feline version has also been developed. How educational.

Source:: Robots put on white lab coats

Biomass, a green alternative to heat Greater Nancy

After a long history of coal mining – the last mine in France was still in operation in the region in 2004 – Lorraine has now been converted to the virtues of renewable energies. To put fossil fuels in the past, the urban community of Greater Nancy has banked on biomass as part of the Greater Nancy Regional Climate, Air and Energy Plan, adopted in December 2012. The voluntary approach to achieve the ‘three twenties’ objective (1) was recognised by the Citoyenne Energies awards in 2013.
Supported by Dalkia, the community has set up a number of complementary district heating networks. And the aim is to use fuels of all kinds.
The Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy urban heating network combines biomass – using wood for energy – and recovering heat from a waste incineration plant, providing 13,000 inhabitants with optimum comfort. At the cutting edge of sustainable development, the site also features 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels and a green roof that includes beehives. Ultimately, the site is 84% powered by renewable energy sources – avoiding 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
EAt the cutting edge of sustainable development, the site also features 260 m2 of photovoltaic panels and a green roof that includes beehives.
Imaginative
Although the first heating plant uses two wood boilers, the second is much more imaginative. Using a multiple fuel boiler, it can use both gas and a blend of animal and vegetable fat in turn, collected from catering companies, the agri-food industry, and deoilers at purification plants!
Finally, upstream of the energy facilities, the final component of this exemplary system is a biomass hub. Sorting, cleaning, drying, and preparing wood chips – up to 80,000 tonnes of wood can be stored and processed every year, the vast majority of which is from forests, but also from carpenters, sawmills, and pallet and crate recycling. It’s a way to move to clean, local energy – for good.

To go further
Discover EDF’s solutions for the climate
The ‘mobile granulator’ for agricultural wasteTERI turns green waste into electricity
(1) A three-part aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, to make energy savings of 20%, and to ensure 20% of total energy consumed is renewable energy – and all by 2020.

Source:: Biomass, a green alternative to heat Greater Nancy

When WiFi is transformed into electricity

What if putting your phone into aeroplane mode cut off the power? An invention of the former British Minister for Science and Innovation, Paul Drayson, the Freevolt device doesn’t turn your telephone into a power switch. But it does turn it into an energy source that can use the smallest amount of electromagnetic radiation, no matter how weak, and turn it into electricity. “Nothing is lost, nothing is created: everything is transformed”: once again, Lavoisier’s law is confirmed.
Freevolt could be an endless supply of power within the connected home
Direct current
GSM, WiFi, 2G, 3G and 4G waves, and even waves from television sets – the Freevolt is made up of a multi-band antenna that scans and captures all emissions from wireless networks. It makes use of all ambient RF (radio frequency) waves from any source in the 0.5–5 GHz range. Once collected, a rectifier transforms them into direct current. Then a supply management module accumulates and distributes electricity.
But you won’t be able to start your electric car or even charge your smartphone using Freevolt. Although the amount of energy produced is too low for these purposes, it could be an endless supply of power within the connected home. Smoke detectors, smart household devices, and even surveillance cameras: recycling energy from wireless waves could be a godsend for ensuring that sensors, with their key role in the Internet of Things and low energy consumption, can operate properly. Drayson Technologies has already created a smartphone application, CleanSpace, which tracks clean air, and is powered just by using Freevolt. Breathtaking.

To go further
Smart cities: how low bandwidth will revolutionize our everyday lives

Source:: When WiFi is transformed into electricity

Planet Progress, episode 10

This episode starts with a solution designed for ultra-connected people. When you’re out and about, it’s not always easy to power your electronic devices. Kodiak – with a turnkey kit of portable solar panels – provides a solution to this problem.
Next, discover Nyrius, a smart system that allows you to manage the power supply to objects in your home using your smartphone. Then we hit the road: to avoid traffic jams, there’s nothing better than Trikke, a strange yet ultra-manoeuvrable three-wheeled electric vehicle. Discover these exciting topics and more, including an amazing anti-snoring device and a connected ecosystem, in this new episode of Planet Progress.
To go furtherMore Planet progress’ episodes on YouTube

Source:: Planet Progress, episode 10

Harnessing the power of the sea

Taking the waters at Marseille
Is a green wave heading for Marseille? Nicknamed Smartseille, the Allar eco-district project that will be home to 4000 residents and is set to rise from the earth by 2018 has plans to be truly innovative in terms of sustainable development. Firstly, it will use a system that is connected to the neighbouring buildings: based on the needs of the day, energy will be supplied both to office air conditioning units and radiators in homes. As a result, loss is avoided. Secondly, the soil will undergo gentle remediation using mushrooms! More environmentally friendly than burying contaminated soil, using mycelium can absorb and transform contaminants, heavy hydrocarbons, cadmium and lead within the mushroom body.
But the flagship project at the first national pilot site recognised by the French Institut pour la Ville Durable (Institute for Sustainable Cities) is the installation of an air conditioning system that uses sea water.How does sea water heating work? By collecting heat from sea water to provide the future district and its 500,000 square metres of offices, facilities and homes with energy. To do this, sea water is pumped from the depths to the shore, where it is circulated in a three-kilometre underground network that runs alongside the internal water circuits of each connected building. Via this loop, a heat exchange takes place, and the system provides heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. It’s a first for a development project under the EDF Optimal Solutions brand.
Using marine currents instead of air currents at Paimpol-BréhatSea winds have long been full of promise – just take a look at the increasing number of off-shore wind farm projects around the world. But what if, instead of dipping their toes in the water, wind turbines dived head first into the sea? At Paimpol-Bréhat (Côtes-d’Armor), a tidal turbine plant is showing promise by using energy from marine currents rather than air currents. And there are benefits over their wind-powered cousins: they are quieter and make use of a more constant and more powerful source of energy, as water is 800 times more dense than air, removing the need to build huge blades.
In Brittany, located 35 m under the sea – without drilling to cause the minimum disturbance to the ecosystem – and connected to an offshore converter, four turbines of 16 metres in diameter – the first of which, named Arcouest, was installed in 2011 – are set to demonstrate the administrative, technical, economical and environmental feasibility of a sector in which France accounts for 20% of Europe’s potential. Once generated under the ocean, the current is then sent back onshore via a 16-km cable. The pilot site, which has received €40 million of investment, will soon be able to serve as a model for two new tidal turbine parks at Raz Blanchard (Basse-Normandie) and Fromveur (Finistère).
La Rance tidal power plant – a new lease of life for the oldest plant of its kind
Since 1966, the La Rance tidal power plant has been making use of the tides. The key strength of the oldest sea-powered plant? Being able to generate electricity both during filling and emptying of the basin, when the tide is rising and falling, thanks to its 24 bulb turbines and its alternators that can run in both directions. To do this, the valves are shut off at low tide to isolate the almost-empty basin, before opening them once again once there is sufficient flow to generate energy. The reverse happens at high tide: the waterways are opened wide before being closed when the basin is full.
The key asset of this system is that it is highly predictable, with tidal coefficients known years in advance, thus avoiding the problem of intermittency that plagues renewable energy sources. As proof of its success, a huge ten-year renovation programme was begun in 2014. Despite the fact that it’s nearly 50, the old plant is going strong!

To go further
Seatower sets out to conquer the deep
Nemo prepares to plunge into ocean thermal energy conversion

Source:: Harnessing the power of the sea

Using the sea to boost our energy

Taking the waters at Marseille
Is a green wave heading for Marseille? Nicknamed Smartseille, the Allar eco-district project that will be home to 4000 residents and is set to rise from the earth by 2018 has plans to be truly innovative in terms of sustainable development. Firstly, it will use a system that is connected to the neighbouring buildings: based on the needs of the day, energy will be supplied both to office air conditioning units and radiators in homes. As a result, loss is avoided. Secondly, the soil will undergo gentle remediation using mushrooms! More environmentally friendly than burying contaminated soil, using mycelium can absorb and transform contaminants, heavy hydrocarbons, cadmium and lead within the mushroom body.
But the flagship project at the first national pilot site recognised by the French Institut pour la Ville Durable (Institute for Sustainable Cities) is the installation of an air conditioning system that uses sea water.How does sea water heating work? By collecting heat from sea water to provide the future district and its 500,000 square metres of offices, facilities and homes with energy. To do this, sea water is pumped from the depths to the shore, where it is circulated in a three-kilometre underground network that runs alongside the internal water circuits of each connected building. Via this loop, a heat exchange takes place, and the system provides heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. It’s a first for a development project under the EDF Optimal Solutions brand.
Using marine currents instead of air currents at Paimpol-BréhatSea winds have long been full of promise – just take a look at the increasing number of off-shore wind farm projects around the world. But what if, instead of dipping their toes in the water, wind turbines dived head first into the sea? At Paimpol-Bréhat (Côtes-d’Armor), a tidal turbine plant is showing promise by using energy from marine currents rather than air currents. And there are benefits over their wind-powered cousins: they are quieter and make use of a more constant and more powerful source of energy, as water is 800 times more dense than air, removing the need to build huge blades.
In Brittany, located 35 m under the sea – without drilling to cause the minimum disturbance to the ecosystem – and connected to an offshore converter, four turbines of 16 metres in diameter – the first of which, named Arcouest, was installed in 2011 – are set to demonstrate the administrative, technical, economical and environmental feasibility of a sector in which France accounts for 20% of Europe’s potential. Once generated under the ocean, the current is then sent back onshore via a 16-km cable. The pilot site, which has received €40 million of investment, will soon be able to serve as a model for two new tidal turbine parks at Raz Blanchard (Basse-Normandie) and Fromveur (Finistère).
La Rance tidal power plant – a new lease of life for the oldest plant of its kind
Since 1966, the La Rance tidal power plant has been making use of the tides. The key strength of the oldest sea-powered plant? Being able to generate electricity both during filling and emptying of the basin, when the tide is rising and falling, thanks to its 24 bulb turbines and its alternators that can run in both directions. To do this, the valves are shut off at low tide to isolate the almost-empty basin, before opening them once again once there is sufficient flow to generate energy. The reverse happens at high tide: the waterways are opened wide before being closed when the basin is full.
The key asset of this system is that it is highly predictable, with tidal coefficients known years in advance, thus avoiding the problem of intermittency that plagues renewable energy sources. As proof of its success, a huge ten-year renovation programme was begun in 2014. Despite the fact that it’s nearly 50, the old plant is going strong!

To go further
Seatower sets out to conquer the deep
Nemo prepares to plunge into ocean thermal energy conversion

Source:: Using the sea to boost our energy