Term: Talking Robotic Cart or TUG

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The Talking Robotic Cart is a robotic courier that ferries supplies and equipment from place to place inside a hospital. It is currently in development by Kaiser Permanente Labs in collaboration with UC Davis Medical Center. The cart is wired into the hospital's computer network and can be operated via hand held LCD monitors. A doctor or nurse could put in an order for a particular item and send the cart to pick it up and bring it back. The cart can carry patient records or virtually anything else (even lunch trays). It has built in sensors to keep it from running into obstacles and an on board computer that prioritizes user requests.

Another application of the robot technology in hospitals is a device known as "Rudy" which is also being developed at the UC Davis Medical Center. This robot stands over five feet tall, has a mounted monitor and video camera, and is fully capable of navigating through hallways and inside patient rooms. It allows a surgeon to visit the bedside of his patients while they are in the recovery process. The monitor displays a video feed of the doctors face from a remote location and microphones and speakers allow the doctor and patient to communicate. It allows the doctor to "visit" patients in different hospitals without actually having to leave his office.

Web Resources:
Kaiser Permanente Labs
The Sacramento Bee

Related Terminology:
Remote Surgery
Imaging, Robotics & Virtual Reality - IRV
Robotic Assisted Surgery

The Sacramento Bee News Release
UC Davis News
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