In response to the outbreak of highly infectious diseases, such as Ebola (2015) and Zika (2016), a Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant (TRINA) was developed to assist healthcare workers in routine patient-caring tasks, handling of contaminated materials and protective gear. This tele-nursing robot consists of a mobile manipulator robot, a human operator’s console, and software that supports various interfaces for direct teleoperation and task automation. It is also equipped with telepresence for bi-directional communication, and wireless sensors for collecting information from patient and environment. This tele-nursing robot is designed to be human-safe, versatile and usable by novice users.
At WPI, we further improve TRINA’s level of automation and user interface to reduce the cognitive and physical fatigue in the teleoperation for general-purpose assistive tasks. Beyond hospital and in-home care, we aim to endow the TRINA with general-purpose motor skills to assist tasks in warehouse, social service, and manufacturing. Our research enhances the synergy of human and shared-autonomous robots, and develop best practices for worker skill assessment and training.
TRINA was originally developed in 2015 at Duke University, with Prof. Kris Hauser (see the prior efforts on system integration and bi-directional telepresence user study). At WPI, the research projects on TRINA system include:
- Shared-autonomous perception action coordination
- Fatigue-adaptive teleoperation interface
- Learning and planning for human-robot collaboration