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Aethon improves healthcare efficiency and patient care by providing innovative logistics solutions. Its industry leading mobile robotic platform (TUG) enables hospitals to automate and improve the delivery and retrieval process across all major functions – including medications, supplies, meals, linen, and waste removal. Its product tracking and security software (MedEx) gives hospitals the ability to track, monitor and electronically document the delivery process, particularly for high-value medications and other items requiring consistent chain-of-custody documentation.

More than 140 hospitals throughout the United States currently employ customized Aethon solutions, allowing them to reallocate and refocus staff on what matters – the patient experience. Aethon is a leader in providing dependable and affordable mobile autonomous robots for practical business applications. In healthcare, the company’s automated technology platform helps hospitals increase productivity and staff satisfaction, while saving time and money with the combination of:
  1. TUG (Aethon’s Automated Robotic Delivery System) - a courier system for the delivery and recovery of hospital goods and supplies
  2. MedEx - its added tracking and security system

These two systems work in concert to enable hospitals to improve staff efficiency and satisfaction, increase asset utilization, decrease missing medications, reduce errors, and improve regulatory compliance, leading to a better overall patient experience and return on investment.

TUG can transport both scheduled and on-demand hospital deliveries between all ancillary, support, and patient care units. Aethon produced this robot to take over some of the easier tasks around the hospital. TUG's main functions are tracking and delivery of hospital supplies and goods. TUG is attached to a cart that tows around all the supplies throughout the hospital. Aethon provides a 24/7 solution that increases both efficiency and and accuracy, leading to the optimization of staff time and hospital dollars to patient care.

TUG uses an built-in computer that runs Aethon’s Operating System. The computer has a detailed map of the hospital and has navigation software that seeks the quickest and most efficient routes. Thousands of light whiskers on the front of robot constantly monitor the surroundings and can detect traffic, allowing plenty of time to stop for people. Two electric motors power the TUG and its cart around hallways, up and down elevators, and into rooms. TUG has many different carts and attachments to carry anything from medical records and prescriptions to patient's meals.Aethon’s TUG provides a cost-effective and non-disruptive infrastructure for asset tracking, leveraging interference-free RFID technology to locate missing equipment throughout the hospital, saving thousands of dollars in purchase and rental expenditures while reducing staff time normally wasted on searching for equipment when needed.


TUG's are already in use in many hospitals around the United States. Studies show that 25% or more of hospital transport is performed by professionals, including nurses and pharmacists, whose skills are being wasted on errands. Aethon provides solutions for many departments like:
  • Central Supply — Supplies can be delivered as needed to satisfy fast-changing orders with acute patients— Reliable delivery and pickup reduces the urge to hoard supplies
    — Nurses get what they need, when they need it
    — High-priced equipment and supplies are tracked, decreasing the number of lost items and the need to incur rental fees

  • Food Service — Automated delivery reduces costs and increases on-time reliability— Foundation for high-delivery models such as concierge/room service
    — Hostesses can remain on the floor, providing additional touches critical to patient satisfaction and reducing non-clinical tasks for nurses
  • Pharmacy — Meds are delivered with increased accountability through an integrated chain of custody system (MedEx) and Automated delivery frees pharmacy techs to focus on performing high-value tasks, such as mixing IVs with a reduced chance of error
  • Laboratory — Lab test items can be delivered to the laboratory on an ad hoc basis, thereby speeding up the results process— The system has call functionality for making deliveries to departments behind locked doors

  • Nursing — Meds can be delivered more frequently without additional cost for today’s fast-changing orders and Nurses can focus their attention on caring for patients rather than hunting down missing meds and supplies
  • Linens — delivery of used laundry and linens
  • Environmental Services — Waste (regular and regulated) can be picked up more frequently, improving infection control and maintaining a cleaner appearance in the facility— Ongoing waste pickup can reduce space required for trash in revenue-producing areas
    — Automated waste transport reduces the risk of workplace injuries from moving heavy loads

Web Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Aethon in the News

Aethon Start-up


Aethon (Aethon. "Aethon Solutions." Aethon. Aethon, 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. <>.)

Images of TUG

A version of TUG:

Another version of TUG:



Aethon TUG Summary from Aethon on Vimeo.

MedEx Medication Tracking from Aethon on Vimeo.