HomeTopicsTechnology and InnovationHumber becomes the first hospital in Canada to recruit a humanoid robot

Humber becomes the first hospital in Canada to recruit a humanoid robot

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Pepper® can greet visitors, provide directions, play games, do yoga and even dance

Humber River Hospital has joined forces with SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) to launch a new pilot program with Pepper the humanoid robot.

“While the healthcare sector has talked about this technology for some time now, we are ambitious and confident at Humber River Hospital to make the move and become the first hospital in Canada to pilot this technology,” states Barbara Collins, President and CEO, Humber River Hospital.   “We are always working to elevate the patient and visitor experience at our hospital.  Knowing Pepper will help create positive and memorable experiences, we are very excited to introduce Pepper as our newest team member.”

The hospital introduced two Pepper robots.  One will greet, guide, engage and entertain patients and visitors as they enter the hospital’s main entrance hall.  The other Pepper robot will support children and their families as part of our Child Life Program.

Utilizing dedicated applications built specifically for Humber River Hospital, Pepper’s interactive touch-screen display will help visitors find their loved ones, departments, washrooms, exits and more. Pepper will also be able to answer commonly asked questions, share information about the hospital, and entertain with games, selfies and even impromptu dance parties.

“We are excited to see Humber River Hospital leading the charge to innovate the patient experience,” said Steve Carlin, Chief Strategy Officer, SoftBank Robotics. “By meeting and interacting with Pepper, patients and visitors will be able to see how the future of healthcare can be enhanced through robotics.”

Sarikah Hardeo meets Pepper.

Committed to innovative, compassionate and high reliability care, the introduction of Pepper at Humber River Hospital follows other recent advancements such as Canada’s first hospital Command Centre and the Reactivation Care Centre.

Pepper by the numbers:

  • Stands 1.2 m (4ft) tall and weighs 29 kg (62lb)
  • Features three cameras – two 2 HD cameras and one 3D depth sensor – to “see” and interact with people
  • 20 engines in Pepper’s head, arms and back control its precise movements
  • A 10-inch chest-mounted touchscreen tablet that Pepper uses to convey information and encourage input

About Humber River Hospital

Humber River Hospital (HRH) is North America’s first digital hospital and one of Canada’s largest acute care hospitals.  Supported by cutting edge technology and a recognized globally for its leadership, excellence and innovation in patient care, HRH is fueled by a workforce committed to compassionate, quality and reliable healthcare that puts the patients, their families and their needs at the centre of all that they do.  Serving more than 850,000 people in northwest Greater Toronto Area, operating out of a 1.8 million square foot facility, it integrates lean and green design principles and the finest available medical and communications technology across all hospital systems, services and workflows.   HRH operates 656 acute inpatient beds, including 48 critical care beds, has 3,400 staff, approximately 600 physicians, and over 500 volunteers.    The hospital has formal affiliations with the University of Toronto and Queen’s University Medical Schools.

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Miles Bellefleur with Humber’s new robot Pepper.

About Pepper

With large expressive eyes and lifelike movements and gestures, Pepper is the 4-foot (1.2-meter) humanoid robot designed to provide a unique, interactive experience for users, while offering a new way for businesses to communicate with customers and clients. Pepper can engage with people and connect with them on an emotional level through its human-like form and conversational experience. Whether interacting with guests in a hotel lobby, shoppers at a retail store, or travelers at an airport, Pepper can discern the gender, general age, and mood of the person it engages with. Pepper robots can be found in retail, hospitality, financial services and healthcare roles.

About SoftBank Robotics America

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) is driving technology forward by becoming a leader in humanoid robotics. Our robots, including Pepper and NAO®, are used in more than 70 countries worldwide and offer innovative use cases relevant for the fields of retail, financial services, healthcare, travel, and hospitality. Formerly Aldebaran Robotics, SBRA’s sister offices remain in Europe, Japan, and China under the new SoftBank Robotics Group. To learn more about Softbank Robotics America, please visit: SoftBankRobotics.com/us


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