New in-hospital robots to link doctors, patients
Called RP-VITA, the robot allows doctors to virtually visit patients in distant locations, carrying on conversations and even taking measurements in real time. Equipped with cameras, microphones, 3-D mapping sensors, a stethoscope, and a video screen "head" that automatically swivels to listen to voices, the robot transmits and receives video, audio, and navigation instructions over a Wi-Fi broadband connection. Doctors, patients, and hospital staff control the robot with a specialized terminal or via a software application that runs on Apple Inc.'s iPad tablet computer, and talk to one another using a Skype-like video chat displayed on the robot's main screen.
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