Tuesday, March 23, 2010

RP-7 Wi-Fi-Enabled Virtual Doctor

The RP-7 robot admittedly looks pretty goofy with a doctor’s face that you just want to punch. Smug bastard. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. In theory anyway. It has been functioning as an around-the-clock physician at the Ryder Trauma Center at the University of Miami/Jackson Medical Center in Florida.

The bot stands about 5 feet tall and is Wi-Fi-enabled. It comes from InTouch Health and just likes to roam around the wards in the trauma center, letting the patients and staff communicate with the off-duty doctors wirelessly via the monitor. That’s where the goofy face comes in.

The idea is that the robot will connect doctors to patients, allowing the two to converse even when the doctor is not on duty. It’s a great idea, but come on. Doctors never want to do squat on their off hours. Might as well paint a happy face on the monitor for all the good it will do.

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