A Robotic System to Anchor a Patient in a Lateral Position and Reduce Nurses’ Physical Strain

Hinrichs, Pascal and Seibert, Kathrin and Arizpe Gómez, Pedro and Pfingsthorn, Max and Hein, Andreas
Robotic manipulators can interact with large, heavy objects through whole-arm manipulation. Combined with direct physical interaction between humans and robots, the patient can be anchored in care. However, the complexity of this scenario requires control by a caregiver. We are investigating how such a complex form of manipulation can be controlled by nurses and whether the use of such a system creates physical relief. The use case chosen was washing the back of a patient in the lateral position. The operability of the remote control from the tele-nurse’s point of view, the change in the posture of the nurse on site, the execution times, the evaluation of the cooperation between human and robot, and the evaluation of the system from the nurse’s point of view and from the patient’s point of view were evaluated. The results show that the posture of the worker improved by 11.93% on average, and by a maximum of 26.13%. Ease of use is rated as marginally high. The manipulator is considered helpful. The study shows that remote whole-arm manipulation can anchor bedridden patients in the lateral position and that this system can be operated by nurses and leads to an improvement in working posture.