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

By Humber River Health

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

Humber River Health has joined forces with SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) to launch a new pilot program with Pepper the humanoid robot.  Beginning this week, Pepper will greet, help guide, engage and entertain patients and visitors who enter the hospital’s main entrance hall.

“While the healthcare sector has talked about this technology for some time now, we are ambitious and confident at Humber River Health to make the move and become the first hospital in Canada to pilot this technology,” states Barbara Collins, President and CEO, Humber River Health.   “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 our newest team member.”

Utilizing dedicated applications built specifically for Humber River Health, 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 Health 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.”

Humber River Health will introduce another Pepper robot to the Child Life Program later this month to also help support, inform and entertain children and their families.

Committed to innovative, compassionate and high reliability care, the introduction of Pepper at Humber River Health 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
For more information, please contact:
Joe Gorman, Director, Community Relations
Humber River Health