Saturday morning coffee [August 1 2015]

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” ― C.S. Lewis,

So much happens each and every week, and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts…

MUG_SMC
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [August 1 2015]

Anthropomimetic robot is just a tad bit creepy

ecerobotEccerobot (Embodied Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot) is an anthropomimetic robot developed by a consortium of labs in Europe. An antrhopomimetic robot imitates not just the human form, but human biological structures and functions as well. This gives the robot the potential for human-like movements and interactions.

From the website: “The ECCEROBOT project is a spin-off of the CRONOS1 project conducted at the University of Essex. The goal of this project was to investigate machine consciousness through internal modelling. For this purpose the first anthropomimetic robot torso was built. Within the ECCEROBOT project we will further enhance this torso, develop a controller for it, and investigate the development of human-like cognitive abilities.”

Reminds me a little of the “terminators” in Terminator movies. Like I said, creepy.

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

ROBOT-Rx® from McKesson is a robotic pharmacy system that automates many of the day to day operations that a technician may perform in a hospital pharmacy, such as medication storage, selection, return, restock, and crediting.

From the manufacturer’s site:

Every year, more than a half billion medications are dispensed error-free by ROBOT-Rx systems installed in hospitals mckesson_robotthroughout North America. Patient-specific medications are dispensed into cassettes or envelopes, facilitating cart fill, first dose, stat and now deliveries. The ROBOT-Rx also supports cabinet restocking and medication deliveries to multiple hospital sites.

The ROBOT-Rx system provides a real-time, enterprise-wide picture of medications stored, dispensed, credited and administered through the system. The robot continuously tracks all online and offline inventory, checks itself for expired and slow-moving medications and generates restocking reports.Every year, more than a half billion medications are dispensed error-free by ROBOT-Rx systems installed in hospitals throughout North America. Patient-specific medications are dispensed into cassettes or envelopes, facilitating cart fill, first dose, stat and now deliveries. The ROBOT-Rx also supports cabinet restocking and medication deliveries to multiple hospital sites.

The ROBOT-Rx system provides a real-time, enterprise-wide picture of medications stored, dispensed, credited and administered through the system. The robot continuously tracks all online and offline inventory, checks itself for expired and slow-moving medications and generates restocking reports.

I’ve recently been moonlighting at a hospital that uses the McKesson Robot-Rx system. It gets a “10” for coolness, but I haven’t been impressed with its performance. Because the robotic system utilizes barcoded medications designed for storage on peg racks, many medications require additional packaging (over-wrapping) prior to stocking (see images below). The over-wrapping requires a lot of extra technician time and labor, as well as pharmacist time to check. The system is certainly an advance in automation, but I prefer the carousel technology I use at my full-time gig.

Robot-Rx overwrapping - Front (left) and Back (right)
Robot-Rx over-wrapping - Front (left) and Back (right)