Nursing homes are a hectic place for the staff. They have many repetitive tasks in a week. Such a task is the delivery of medication to the patients. To help in this task we developed a robot which can deliver the medication autonomously.
The delivery of medication in a nursing home is now done manually by caretakers. This can be automated to give the caretakers more time to take better care of their patients. Our assignment is to develop a robot prototype, which can autonomously drive to the right patient and give them their medication. The robot must recognize obstacles and manoeuvre around them. At location the patient has to receive the medication intended for them.
Our project team created a robot which can drive around a know area and evade new obstacles. For the realisation of the robot we used the Robot Operating System, a robot platform and extra hardware and software.
The robot van be divided in the following parts:
Driving and controlling the robot
The Robot Operation System (ROS) is used to drive and control the robot. ROS is a framework over which multiple programs can communicate with each other. With this we created a cohesive systems that consists of small programs.
The goal of the project is to deliver medicines to patients with an autonomously driving robot as has been told before. An important part of this project is the mechanics inside the robot. This is because the medicines have to be stored in the robot and have to be delivered to the patients in some kind of way.
The storing of the medicines has been done with a locker. This locker is divided in a total of six boxes (figure x). Each box is linked to a specific patient. This means that the robot can deliver the medicines to a maximum of six patients per cycle. After this cycle, the locker has to be refilled by a doctor by just pulling out the locker and put the medicines in the boxes. At the bottom of every box is a valve that has been locked by an electromagnet. This way, the medicines cannot fall out randomly.
When the robot is at the right patient, the medicine has to drop out for that specific patient. The patient just has to follow the instructions on the display of the robot and hold his NFC tag to the NFC scanner. (Figure X,Y)
When the robot is recognizing the NFC tag of the patient, the current of the electromagnet of the box for that patient will get low. The medicine will fall down on a slide. This slide will lead the medicine to another box where the patient can get his medicine easily. (Figure X).
Now the robot has done its job and can move on to the next patient.