Inflatable ‘soft robots’ like Baymax may be used in hospitals

Disney’s robotic healthcare assistant may become a reality, thanks to advances in inflatable technology

For those who thought inflatable technology began and ended with air beds and water wings, think again. The latest trends suggest that inflatables will soon be taking on important roles in hospitals and farms – as a part of robotics.

The vast majority of robots in the world reside in factories – they are solid mechanical machines with arms that can grip, hold objects, and carry out tasks such as assembling, painting, or welding. Their ability to be accurate, reliable and to work 24/7 has long made them attractive to manufacturers and they are now catching the eye of hospital managers who are under increasing pressure to provide services but lack the funds to pay the staff to do them. Robotic surgical systems have been in use for more than a decade, providing help and increased accuracy for some operations, but they are niche. Arguably a much bigger impact can be made by using robots to help with more mundane but far more numerous tasks, such as lifting patients on to beds and helping them to the bathroom.

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via Inflatable ‘soft robots’ like Baymax may be used in hospitals

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