Robots invade Omaha VA Medical Center

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 18:40:01-04

Robots are officially living at the Omaha VA Medical Center. The center has two active robots are are programmed to make deliveries in the hospital. The name of the robots is Tug. However, there’s one robot workers have named. Its name is Johnny 5. It even has its own brain.

“Everyone is excited, they want the interaction, it’s the new toy,” Nicole Norotsky said. She’s a medical laboratory scientist.

The robot is not just a toy, it has a job to do.

“They go and pick up specimens for us,”she said. “When it gets to where it’s going, it says your delivery is here.”

Worker say without Tug, they’ll tote around a lot of stuff.

“It’s to help staff members get things delivered from one point to another without hurting themselves,” Jason Junge said. He’s a biomedical equipment support specialist.

Tug can pull about 900 pounds.

“A lot of people get hurt every year from pushing and pulling objects up and down the hallway.”

It also helps save time.

“They really like it and that it’s helping them get things done in a more timely manner,” Junge said.

While Tug is making deliveries , it’s very aware of its surroundings.

“It has infrared sensors and cameras on it that he can see different walls and it also got an internal map programmed into it.”

Tug is pretty polite. When people start to walk in front of it, it stops to them walk before it.

“It’s a patient robot,” Junge said.

It can even get on the elevator by itself and press the button. However, Tug is not allowed to go outside, it could get lost.

“It wouldn’t know where it was outside so it would essentially shut down.”

Tug can run throughout the entire hospital if needed, but it tells you when it’s tired.

“It’s smart enough to know that it needs to go back to the docking station,”Junge said.

The hospital has a total of 10 Tugs. There are only two active now. They are also programming it to deliver towels.