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Development of a Basic Robot System for Medical and Nursing Care for Patients with Glaucoma

Authors: Naoto Suzuki


Medical methods to completely treat glaucoma are yet to be developed. Therefore, ophthalmologists manage patients mainly to delay disease progression. Patients with glaucoma are mainly elderly individuals. In elderly people's houses, having an equipment that can provide medical treatment and care can release their family from their care. For elderly people with the glaucoma to live by themselves as much as possible, we developed a support robot having five functions: elderly people care, ophthalmological examination, trip assistance to the neighborhood, medical treatment, and data referral to a hospital. The medical and nursing care robot should approach the visual field that the patients can see at a speed suitable for their eyesight. This is because the robot will be dangerous if it approaches the patients from the visual field that they cannot see. We experimentally developed a robot that brings a white cane to elderly people with glaucoma. The base part of the robot is a carriage, which is a Megarover 1.1, and it has two infrared sensors. The robot moves along a white line on the floor using the infrared sensors and has a special arm, which does not use electricity. The arm can scoop the block attached to the white cane. Next, we also developed a direction detector comprised of a charge-coupled device camera (SVR41ResucueHD; Sun Mechatronics), goggles (MG-277MLF; Midori Anzen Co. Ltd.), and biconvex lenses with a focal length of 25 mm (Edmund Co.). Some young people were photographed using the direction detector, which was put on their faces. Image processing was performed using Scilab 6.1.0 and Image Processing and Computer Vision Toolbox 4.1.2. To measure the people's line of vision, we calculated the iris's center of gravity using five processes: reduction, trimming, binarization or gray scale, edge extraction, and Hough transform. We compared the binarization and gray scale processes in image processing. The binarization process was better than the gray scale process. For edge extraction, we compared five methods: Sobel, Prewitt, Laplacian of Gaussian, fast Fourier transform, and Canny. The Canny method was the optimal extraction method. We performed the Hough transform to search for the main coordinates from the iris's edge, and we found that the Hough transform could calculate the center point of the iris.

Keywords: Glaucoma, support robot, elderly people, Hough transform, direction detector, line of vision.

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