Development of Care and Welfare Robot

T. Yukawa, O. Hosoya, N. Saito, S. Kajikawa, and H. Okano (Japan)


Omni-directional mobile mechanism, Image recognition, Line trace


This paper describes the development of a robot that can perform nursing tasks in a hospital or welfare facility. When a narrow environment such as that of a sickroom is assumed, the robot must be able to move about freely in arbitrary directions, and should be able to correctly position itself in relation to its target. Therefore, the robot should be omni-directional and have high controllability and the capability to make small turns. White lines originally set up on the floor, such as those indicating a safe passage area or the centerlines in the building, were used as the reference point of the robot's guidance mechanism, and these lines are recognized using two or more cameras. The use of pre-existing reference points lead to a reduction of the system's cost. As well, wireless correspondence between the robot and an operator enables the robot's autonomous movement in a hospital.

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