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Aged care facility trials robots

A NSW aged care provider is trialling the use of a robot to transport meals, linen, waste and pharmaceutical goods, ABC News reports.

The RoboCart named Wendy is being used at Albion Park Rail Residential Care Home near Wollongong.

Aged care provider Warrigal said it was exploring ways to relieve staff from repetitive processes such as pushing heavy trolleys, instead giving them more face-to-face time with residents.

Strategic innovation and development executive leader Leanne Taylor said the trial was working well.

“We’ve got the robot programmed so it knows its way from the kitchen to the various dining room areas, and the staff are then able to use an iPad to be able to dictate where the loads are to be taken to,” Ms Taylor said.

“The robot is able to transport anything that is bulky and heavy, so other examples are linen and other forms of products, and things like incontinence pads that often staff have to be able to move from the warehouse on site to the recipients of the product.”

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association is embracing the use of robots in aged care.

“There’s no mistaking that robots are part of our future,” assistant general secretary Judith Kiejda said.

“Nursing attracts more back injuries than any other industry, if you speak to any nurse. I have a bad back courtesy of my career and I think that would be the case for most nurses.

“So anything that is going to alleviate that I think we have to look at positively.”

FULL STORY

Aged care provider trials use of robot for heavy lifting, giving staff more time with residents (ABC News)