These Talking, Hugging Robots Are Coming To A Hospital Near You
She speaks 26 languages, dances through hallways and tells jokes on command.
Meet TESA, the multi-skilled robot helping make life easier in Queensland hospitals.
TESA -- short for The eHealth Service Assistant -- is one of five robots currently being trialled in the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
QLD's health minister Steven Miles said by February next year, TESA will be equipped with even more functions and deployed at more hospitals across the state.
"This is a toe in the water - a chance to deliver a little extra guidance to patients around the hospital and to imagine what else robots could do," Miles said.
Senior director of eHealth Queensland, Russell Hart, said the robot not only gives directions to lost patients and their families, but also provides valuable services as a translator.
"She observes and listens to what's going on around her and that helps her understand how people are feeling. She can actually sense if someone's looking at bit lost," Hart said.
"Quite often we struggle with simple things like just ordering a meal for a patient who can't speak English."
"TESA can provide language services when necessary to ensure patients and clinicians are communicating effectively."
"Obviously this is critical, especially in Emergency Departments when information needs to be accurate and time is of the essence."
Mandarin and Arabic are the most common non-English dialects spoken in Queensland emergency departments.
"It can be very confusing, very distressing and anything we can do to make that a bit easier I think is really important," Miles said.
The robots are already proving extremely popular with kids in the hospitals, who enjoy her jokes and dancing skills.