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Special Issue

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Role of Robotics for Healthcare Services

Robotics is a branch of engineering that is focused on the design, development, control, and use of robots. Since robots are mechanical and electronic devices which are controlled using computer systems, it can be perceived as a multi-disciplinary study involving several branches of engineering such as mechanical engineering, computer science, electronics and control engineering, and mechanical engineering. Robots are predominantly used to replicate human actions and are developed with the objective to replace human as a like for like replacement. Robots are designed according to the need of the respective application areas and location where they will be deployed. The size and shape of robots range from miniature robots to human-sized robots. Robots are considered as effective replacements in fields and applications where human intervention is impossible or dangerous to venture such as bomb detection, unmanned space explorations, etc.

Robotics has cut across several domains such as manufacturing and logistics, automobile, satellite communications, customer service, and marketing, small to large scale business development initiatives and most importantly across healthcare domain. Robotics has found several applications when it comes to patient health care and monitoring. Robots have been effectively used to maintain the hygiene of the patient environment and keep it sterile. Also, these robots play a vital role in monitoring the patient movements and gestures 24x7 and alert the medical staff when any anomalous behavior is observed during patient monitoring. Robots are considered as good candidates to work in laboratories for collecting samples, transporting, storing and analyzing the sample for diseases thereby avoiding human intervention. Also, smart robots are deployed to act as effective surgical assistants while carrying out complex surgeries. Robots with pressure sensors are deployed to find out the blood pressure levels in human and notify fluctuations. They have also been treated as effective assistants in therapies like assisting people to walk, speech therapies, arm and joint movement therapies, etc. It is also imperative that robotics have indirectly served as marketing tools for hospitals in adopting advanced technology into their hospital management.

The list of applications of robotics is ever growing with the development of advanced and smart robots and it is not an understatement to say that smart robots will be the effective assists in the near future across healthcare domain. Despite all these benefits and advantages robotics has not been completely and instantaneously welcomed into healthcare domain. The primary challenges in embracing smart robots into health care domain lie in the cost of deployment and maintenance of these robotic systems, the fear of failure of robotic devices which can directly impact the human health, precise decisions capabilities of smart robots, etc. Several research activities have been focused towards the direction in devising smart robots that can cater to the health care domain effectively and safely.

This special issue on " Role of Robotics for Healthcare Services" provides an excellent platform to exchange ideas and novel approaches in developing and designing smart robots for the healthcare domain. Original works related to developing smart robotic applications that aid health care, identifying the opportunities for deploying smart robots in new areas of health care, smart robot deployment for patient care can be shared across this special issue.

Topics of interest include but are not restricted to:
• Smart robots for assisting complex surgeries
• Smart robotics in diagnosing diseases
• Healthcare Laboratory Automation using smart robotics
• Hospital automation system using smart robotics
• Smart robot deployment in medical laboratories
• Role of smart robots inpatient rehabilitation
• Sensor-based smart robots for patient study
• Smart robots for housekeeping in healthcare
• Smart robots and electronic health record maintenance
• Smart robot based hospital surveillance
• Smart robots in patient monitoring
• Smart sensing robots for the patient health check
• Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) based smart robots for patient therapies
• Robotics and sensors in healthcare
• Robotics technologies for supporting patients
• Mobile robots for healthcare
• Smart robots for disease prediction and alerting
• Smart robotics inpatient gesture and behavior analysis 
• Smart robotics in speech therapy
• Smart robotics in digitizing hospital

Paper submission deadline:
5 October 2019

Author notification:
5 December 2019

Revised papers submission:
20 January 2020
(Subject to change at journal's discretion)

Final acceptance:
10 March 2020

Submissions process

All papers are subject to peer review by at least two independent reviewers. The most important criterion for acceptance/rejection is originality of the material presented in the manuscript. Reviewers are recruited among the internationally recognized experts relevant for the given area.

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Guest Editors


Dr.-Ing. Heiko Hamann

Professor for Service Robotics, University of Lübeck
Institute of Computer Engineering, Germany

Dr. Heiko Hamann is Professor for Service Robotics at the University of Lubeck, Germany . His research focus is on swarm robotics, swarm intelligence, and evolutionary robotics. He is developing innovative methods to govern the ever-increasing complexity of engineered systems using novel applications of tools from physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. He has taught courses on swarm robotics, mobile robotics, and evolutionary robotics for more than five years. With more than 80 peer-reviewed publications at international conferences and international journals he is a well-recognized researcher in swarm robotics and related fields. He is the author of Space-Time Continuous Models of Swarm Robotic Systems (Springer, 2010), a frequently cited book on modeling systems of swarm robots. As coordinator and member of large European-funded research projects he worked on swarm robotics, modular robotics, and bio-hybrid systems.

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Dr.-Ing. Mladen Berekovic

Director, University of Lübeck
Institute of Computer Engineering, Germany

Prof. Mladen Bereković received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany, in 1995. He has been a Research Assistant with the Institute of Microelectronic Circuits and Systems, University of Hannover, from 1995 to 2002. From 2002 to 2007, he worked at IBM and IMEC where he also held an adjunct professor position at TU Delft, Netherlands. Since 2007 he is professor at TU Braunschweig, Germany. His current research interests include VLSI architectures for video signal processing, MPEG-4, system-on-chip designs, and simultaneously multithreaded processor architectures.

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Dr. Norbert Stoll

University of Rostock
Electrical Engineering, Germany

Prof. Norbert Stollreceived the Diploma (Dip.-Ing.) degree in automation engineering and the Ph.D. degree in measurement technology from the University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany, in 1979 and 1985, respectively. He is a Professor of Measurement Technology with the Institute of Automation, University of Rostock.

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