A semi-autonomous motorized mobile hospital bed for safe transportation of head injury patients in dynamic hospital environments without bed switching

Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Robotica, 2016, 34 (8), pp. 1880 - 1897
Issue Date:
2016
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We present a novel motorized semi-autonomous mobile hospital bed guided by a human operator and a reactive navigation algorithm. The proposed reactive navigation algorithm is launched when the sensory device detects that the hospital bed is in the potential danger of collision. The semi-autonomous hospital bed is able to safely and quickly deliver critical neurosurgery (head trauma) patients to target locations in dynamic uncertain hospital environments such as crowded hospital corridors while avoiding en-route steady and moving obstacles. We do not restrict the nature or the motion of the obstacles, meaning that the shapes of the obstacles may be time-varying or deforming and they may undergo arbitrary motions. The only information available to the navigation system is the current distance to the nearest obstacle. Performance of the proposed navigation algorithm is verified via theoretical studies. Simulation and experimental results also confirm the performance of the reactive navigation algorithm in real world scenarios.
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