Healthcare Robotics' Nursing Assistant uses a direct physical interface (DPI) that lets a nurse have direct control over the movement of the robot, a "human-scale" mobile manipulator called Cody. Using the DPI, the nurse is able to lead and position Cody by making direct contact with its "body." When the user grabs and moves either of the robot's end effectors -- or the black rubber balls attached to the robot -- Cody responds. For example, pulling forward or pushing backward make the robot do the same, and moving the end effector to the right or the left causes the robot to rotate. Users can also grab Cody's arm and abduct or adduct it at the shoulder, causing Cody to move sideways.
The company said Cody's DPI "significantly outperformed a comparable wireless game-pad interface in both objective and subjective areas, including number of collisions, time to complete the tasks, workload and overall preference."