Robotic Arm Image
A humanoid figure and a robotic arm measure human physiological signals. (Credit: Simon Fraser University)

Robots that could take on basic healthcare tasks to support the work of doctors and nurses may be the way of the future. Who knows, maybe a medical robot can prescribe your medicine someday? That’s the idea behind 3D structural-sensing robots now being developed and tested.

The team programmed two robots, a humanoid figure and a robotic arm, to measure human physiological signals. The robotic arm, created using 3D printed origami structures, contains biomedical electrodes on the tip of each finger. When the hand touches a person, it detects physiological signals, including those from an electrocardiogram (which monitors heartbeat), respiration rate, electromyogram (monitoring electrical signals from muscle movements) and temperature.

The humanoid robot can also monitor oxygen levels, which could be used to monitor the condition of those who develop severe COVID-19. The data can be viewed in real-time on the robot’s monitor or sent directly to the healthcare provider.