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Hampshire to deploy cobots to help staff

Hampshire County Council has revealed it is going to start using wearable technology, known as ‘cobots’ to help local care staff.

Already in use in Japan, cobots are devices, which are worn around the lower back and actively support carers in moving objects or supporting people.

Using electrodes, cobots can also detect electrical signals between the wearer’s brain and their muscles and convert this into motion.

The local authority and the PA Consulting-led Argenti Care Technology Partnership will be first to use the devices in Europe.
Working with Japanese robotics developer, Cyberdyne, on trialling and launching HAL Lumbar cobots, the county council and PA have been keen to explore how cobots could help with the physical demands faced by stretched care sector staff.

‘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,’ said Hampshire’s executive member for adult social care and health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst.

‘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 into the future,’ she added.

Steve Careful, social care technology expert at PA Consulting, added: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hampshire County Council to help them use cobot technology to create a more positive human future for care.

‘Now, more than ever, is the moment to embrace new technology. Our hope is that cobots could support care workers with the more physically demanding aspects of care, freeing carers up to focus on other aspects of human care or care for another vulnerable person.’

Photo Credit – Angel-Kun (Pixabay)

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