Robots roam wards of Scottish hospital


AGVs introduced to carry supplies at New South Glasgow Hospital

Robots will be introduced to the New South Glasgow Hospital as part of the first UK order for Swisslog automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

Already in use in medical centres elsewhere around the world, the TransCar AGVs will ferry goods including sterile products, food, linen and waste, providing a safer system of work and reducing moving and handling injuries.

The hospital is introducing 22 of the AGVs

The hospital is introducing 22 of the AGVs

They will use dedicated FM lifts that are segregated for clean and dirty goods and will travel in non-public corridors, reducing the risk of infection.

In total, the hospital, which will be the largest critical care complex in Scotland, will use 22 of the systems.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde said: “An automated material transfer system was one of the key requirements for facilities management in the new hospitals as the size, scope and activity of clinical and non-clinical functions made such a system essential to meet the logistical workloads.”

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TransCar operates totally automatically, interfacing with lifts and doors as required along the vehicle’s journey. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponders identify the type of load and its intended route and a laser scanning system interfacing with a computer programme controls vehicle navigation and identifies any obstacles near the vehicle path. WiFi and fixed network equipment manage communication between the vehicles and the static infrastructure of the installation.