LIFE Published February1, 2015 By Staff Reporter

New SF Hospital Feels Like the Jetsons

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Inside The Workshops Of The Worlds Only Commercially Available Full Size Robot Maker
(Photo : Matt Cardy | Getty Images News)

Back to the Future may be wrong in predicting that we're going to have flying cars this year, but at least we're getting closer to living the Jetsons lifestyle. A new hospital set to open on Sunday, January 31, will have an additional crew: robots.

The UCSF Hospital in Mission Bay is a large health care complex that covers almost 900,000 square feet. It will be divided into three separate hospitals: a children's hospital, a cancer center, and a woman's hospital. There will also be a medical building spanning more than 200,000 square feet.

The entire complex took about a decade to plan and a spending of more than a billion dollars, of which $100 million came from the donation of Marc and Lynne Benioff. The children's hospital is named after them. Nevertheless, the hospital wants to emphasize that many members of the tech industry donated to make it come true.

But what makes it far different from all the other hospitals in California or even the entire world is that it will be the first to use robots that will carry routine tasks.

These robots, designed by Aethon Incorporated, will number 25, the biggest fleet to be employed in a health care setting. These are expected to be programmed and completely mobile. They are expected to bring meals and medications to patients, transfer lab specimens, and carry linens.

Each of the robots can also carry as much as 1,000 pounds of objects and travel for twelve miles a day. Their tasks will allow the human staff to concentrate on their core functions than routine tasks. The hospital has reportedly spent around $6 million.

According to the chief executive officer of the hospital Mark Laret, the medical complex is expected to be one of the places where in-depth research and clinical trials will be performed. Speaking with SF Gate, he further added, the health care facility will contribute greatly to medicine's future.  

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