Robot and AI support essential services

Disaster response and healthcare are two service areas that are never going away. What role robots and AI can play in these vital sectors is a growing area of interest.

This week the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) showed the WALK-MAN humanoid robot in a firefighting a scenario, highlighting how robots can reduce risks for human responders. The WALK-MAN project follows on from the 2014 DARPA Challenge and continues the development of a humanoid robot that can operate in buildings that were damaged following natural and man-made disasters. The project is delivered by a consortium of five leading European technology universities.

Meanwhile, new research at the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA) at Boston Children’s Hospital is showing how voice-assistant technologies can be a useful tool for physicians in different scenarios. The IDHA began by hosting a Voice in Healthcare hackathon in 2016 discovering that voice-assistant technology could augment many healthcare functions reducing the risk of error and easing some of the burden of the task for the clinician. This has now expanded to a myriad of applications from hands free support in the operating theatre to streamlining the organ transplant process. “Alexa, could you read me the patient’s test results?”

Read more: IEEE Spectrum / New Atlas / Walk Man / HBR / Boston Children’s Hospital

Image: IIT – Walkham robot

This story is taken from the 09 March 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.