When I was a kid, I wanted to be Lea Skywalker. She had a cool hairstyle, she could fly a spaceship, and most importantly, she had robots at her disposal. In Star Wars, robots were indispensible, always there with a critical message from your Jedi teacher, a weapon, or an escape plan in case the Storm Troopers were closing in (yeah, I’m a bit of a Star Wars geek, in case you didn’t catch that). I always wondered why robots weren’t used more in real life.
But now, we’re seeing robots pop up all over the place in hospitals. They’re being used to pick up and deliver laboratory specimens, transport medical supplies, upload and transmit patient data, and even roam around trauma units “checking in” on patients. And while they may not have C3P0’s charismatic personality, these robots are picking up the slack and helping overworked clinicians by performing duties that don’t always require the personal touch.
Some of these droids can even take the elevators by themselves, using a sensor to open the door and select a floor. Just like R2D2.
If you are using robots at your facility, please email me. I would love to hear about it — and I promise not to pull you into a debate over whether Anakin was seduced by the dark side or merely ‘sold out’.