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Robotic Nursing Assistant (RoNA) System

RoNA carrying image

Nurses and similar professional caregivers suffer a higher rate of musculoskeletal injury than any other U.S. profession, outpacing shipping and freight handlers. According to surveys by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are more than 35,000 back and other injuries among nursing employees every year, severe enough that they have to miss work. Direct and indirect costs associated with only back injuries in the healthcare industry are estimated to be $20 billion annually. This fact is largely due to unsafe patient lifting. 

In 2009, Hstar Technologies launched a research project designed to address the numerous technological and clinical challenges faced by such healthcare practitioners. To develop a human-safe, heavy-lifting robotic system that is useful in any clinical environment.

The research and development team's efforts resulted in the RoNA Robotic Patient Lifting System—an autonomous robotic nursing assistant capable of helping healthcare providers maneuver and lift patients weighing up to 500 pounds.

The RoNA project continues to fuel innovation at Hstar as its research supports the framework and phased implementation of the product version of RoNA, which will be available in 2016. 

Features and Benefits

RoNA will deliver a positive increase in benefits commonly associated with traditional safe patient lifting methods, including:

• Reduced incidence of clinician workplace injuries, associated workers' compensation claims and lost work time

• Fewer patient falls and injuries due to improper or unsafe lifting

• Improved clinician staff retention and satisfaction

• Improved patient satisfaction

• Increased patient referrals

Competing primarily against ceiling-mounted lift systems, mobile sling systems, and patient lift teams, RoNA offers distinct advantages:

Mobility and maneuverability: Ceiling systems are fixed while mobile slings have restricted mobility, limiting how and where patients are served. RoNA is completely mobile and omnidirectional, per its use of mecanum wheels. As a result, RoNA navigates and works in areas—confined or otherwise—where common lifting systems cannot.

RoNA02 700

Telepresence support: Remotely-located clinical experts can 'visit' patients, monitor physiological data in real-time and complement an on-site support team's diagnosis and treatment.

RoNA03 700

Patient Safety: RoNA is an intelligent learning system employing zero moment point (ZMP) stability systems in conjunction with unique haptic feedback. Consequently, RoNA senses a patient's center of gravity during a lift and automatically adjusts. The patient will feel and be more secure during RoNA's lift and physical transfer than those of a human.

Employee injury, worker compensation, and premature retirement reduction: In facilities without safe patient handling systems, RoNA will deliver all benefits of a safe lifting program, reducing worker's compensation and injury-related costs by 40 percent or more. In facilities with existing programs, RoNA will increase compliance while further reducing injury-related costs and occurances. In turn, premature retirement rates will also be positively affected.

Staffing and equipment needs reduction: A single RoNA eliminates the need for a dedicated lift team serving 100 beds.

US Patent US-2012-0283746-A1 “A Mobile Medical Robotic System”

NEWS|Latest News

Hstar Technologies awarded a MassVentures 2015 START Stage I Grant

CAMBRIDGE, MA — June 25, 2015 — Hstar Technologies Corporation today announced the award of a MassVensures 2015 START Stage 1 grant. The START is a program funded by the C..

RoNA Featured in Boston Globe

Cambridge, MA (Nov 8, 2014) - Hstar Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was featured in Boston Globe - "Robots go to war against Ebola". ..

Hstar Technologies Literally Gives Patients a Lift

Cambridge, MA (Dec 20, 2013) - Hstar Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was featured on Robotics Business Review.

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