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Smart Global Positioning System for Autonomous Delivery Robots in Hospitals

Francisco Peleato, Mangai Prabakar, and Jong-Hoon Kim

 Abstract
Autonomous delivery robots have been employed in several hospitals across the United States to transport medical equipment, medicine, and food. However, they still face many difficulties, especially with the localization of robots within buildings, since most robots are currently using outdated techniques such as landmark recognition, beacons, or RFID tags. These methods are not only imprecise and unreliable but they also require a careful setup/distribution of special hardware in the hospital. Additional sensing and computing power are also needed for searching and detecting of landmarks, ultimately increasing manufacturing costs.

We propose an innovative solution with a Smart Global Positioning System (S-GPS) framework and a novel algorithm for tracking delivery robots using multilateration technique with optimal number of references. The S-GPS framework enables to compute coordinates of all static sensors and mobile robots within the building and allows for fault tolerance in case of sensor failures. The algorithm provides precise localization of patients and delivery robots for improved navigation.

[ To appear in the Proceedings of the 29th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference (SBEC), Miami, May 2013 ]


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