Hampshire County Council explores use of cobots in the UK for the first time
In partnership with global transformation consultancy PA Consulting, Hampshire County Council is trialling pioneering collaborative robots – ‘cobots’ – in care settings for the first time in the UK.
Already in use in Japan, cobots are worn around the lower back and actively support carers in moving objects or supporting people. Using electrodes, the care bots can also detect electrical signals between the wearer’s brain and their muscles and convert this into motion.
Working alongside Japanese robotics developer Cyberdyne on trialling and launching HAL Lumbar type cobots, the council wanted to explore how this technology could help with the physical demands faced by stretched care staff.
Hampshire County Council’s trial of cobots began in February this year and was quickly adapted in response to COVID-19, with further investigation of how they could be used to help manage the challenges faced by care workers during the pandemic.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Through our partnership with PA Consulting, we are proud to be at the forefront of using technology in care to assist people to live as independently as possible. Our trial of cobots is all about our carers-kit which supports them and makes their job easier.
“While we don’t yet know the extent to which cobots will help transform the delivery of care, early results are very promising, and I am increasingly confident that we will see them play an important role in supporting our care workforce both now, and in the future.”
According to the council, the use of a cobot has shown that care for a person with complex needs, which may have previously required two carers working together, can, in some instances, be delivered effectively by a single individual.
Watch the cobots in action below:
As well as trialling the cobots, Hampshire County Council and a consortium led by PA Consulting have also established an innovative technology-enabled care (TEC) partnership called Argenti Care Technology Partnership.
This unique transformation programme focuses on delivering better outcomes for vulnerable adults by ‘mainstreaming’ TEC. According to Argenti, the programme has realised net benefits of £9.8 million over five years for Hampshire County Council and subsequently £2.2 million in two years in Barnet Council.https://thiis.co.uk/hampshire-county-council-explores-use-of-cobots-in-the-uk-for-the-first-time/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Cobots-1.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Cobots-1-150x150.jpgGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsArgenti Care Technology Partnership,assistive technology,care robots,cobots,collaborative robots,Cyberdyne,Hampshire County Council,PA Consulting,TEC,Technology Enabled CareIn partnership with global transformation consultancy PA Consulting, Hampshire County Council is trialling pioneering collaborative robots – ‘cobots’ – in care settings for the first time in the UK. Already in use in Japan, cobots are worn around the lower back and actively support carers in moving objects or supporting...Sarah SarsbySarah Sarsbysarah@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine