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Doctors, nurses...and robotsA state-of-the-art medical center is just weeks away from opening its doors in San Francisco. Working alongside doctors and nurses at UCSF will be a fleet of robots. CNET's Kara Tsuboi takes us inside the hospital to view the capabilities of these specialized...
25 robots with different voices- Crossing corridor. And names will be roaming the halls of the University of California San Francisco's new hospital, relieving staff from tedious deliveries. That allows our staff to focus on the things that people do so well. Caring. Decision making, supporting. The robots can carry up to one thousand pounds and deliver six types of supplies. Lab specimens, surgical instruments, bed linens, meals, waste and medications. There can be scheduled deliveries as well as on demand. The robots can manuever independently, communicating over wi-fi they can open doors. And even call the elevators and travel to different floors. Some of the hallways here and nearly three football fields in length. That is a lot of walking for hospital staff. And just one of the reasons why they wanted to use robots to cover all that ground. To do some of the heavy lifting. When we made the decision to use the robotic courier. It was based on three different tenants, safety for employees, reliability because we have a schedule, and then last but not least is the efficiency. For example, they can deliver 1,000 meals a day to patients. All of the robots have the building's floor plans embedded into their systems. They're also outfitted with more than 30 sensors, a camera, sonar, lasers, and infrared. Those four components actually allow the robot to sense the size of the corridor. To make sure the right patient gets the right meds, the pharmacy-bots have built-in fingerprint sensors. So only authorized staff can access them. They require a specific ID for each medication that goes into the robot, and then a specific ID for each medication that comes out. Only proper use, reliable use of the technology by people. Is what makes it safer. The staff are voting on names and how they should be decorated. While the robots won't be rolling up to a patient's bed side that should help with their bedside manner. In San Fransisco I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News.