The aim of the “EFFIROB“ study was to analyze the technical and economic feasibility of new service robotics applications. In the context of inpatient care, three new operational scenarios were worked out: a universally deployable transport robot, a semiautonomous care trolley, and a semiautonomous multifunctional lifter.

The distinguishing features of the transport robot are its especially flexible navigation and environment detection capabilities, which not only enable it to locate natural features of the surroundings and automatically maneuver around detected obstacles, but also to autonomously identify and pick up different loads.

The semiautonomous care trolley is equipped with a stocking system which allows an automatic and ergonomic provision of the needed nursing instruments on the basis of the nursing plan. Whatever is removed from the care trolley is simultaneously recorded so that the trolley can be efficiently and completely restocked (manually or automatically) at the end of a shift.

The multifunctional lifter is conceived to unite in one system all of the functions that, up to now, have had to be carried out by multiple specialized lifter systems. At the same time, the new system is designed to be intuitively operable by just one caregiver.

The concept of the multifunctional lifter is being further developed and implemented as a prototype in the “Elevon“ project.

The “EFFIROB“ study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).