Alibaba AI Robot-Space shuttle 

medical service robots

My Contribution(2018 April - 2019 April)


On-site Research and Analysis Report Output

User Flow Design

UI Design

Space Shuttle Concept Video( 4 weeks work)

On-site Explanation and Demonstration of Robot Function

(in Hospitals and Science/Technology Exhibitions)


The novel coronavirus pneumonia was introduced from SARS in 2003 to new crown pneumonia in 2020. The virus spread rapidly through air droplets into the respiratory tract and human open tissue mucosa, leading to large-scale infection outbreaks.

The medical field is the front-line battlefield of prevention and treatment of the epidemic situation. In the two outbreaks, a large number of medical staff were infected because of a "lack of effective equipment and extreme fatigue".

The overall design needs to plan the motion track and interaction mode between the robot and the user in the performance scene, and carry out the functional partition and corresponding technical implementation mode.

In order to meet the operating conditions of various kinds of robots and related equipment in the scene (such as the influence of color and material in the scene on lidar, the influence of light in the scene on visual recognition technology, multi-machine operation positioning, and width, etc.)

We use blue and black colors to create a scientific and technological fashion texture, a lot of light strip box wall to create a level of the tech glow effect. we arranged the glass walls to keep the user safe, divided the working area of robots and experience areas of users. Making our best to keep the safety of the experiencer and the purpose of display.

On-site Explanation and Demonstration of Robot Function

I did the introduction and Q & A of medical robot products in the medical seminar of Zhejiang hospital.

The epidemic situation makes the demand for the medical trend more clear

❶With the outbreak of the epidemic, problems such as unbalanced allocation of medical resources and shortage of medical staff are concentrated. Doctors and nurses work hard for a long time and lack of rest time, which leads to the decrease of immunity and the infection of the virus, which further increases the gap between doctors and nurses


❷Medical and health institutions need to promptly and effectively promote the latest national policies and epidemic prevention information to the staff of the hospital


❸The requirements of isolation and closed area management all over the country increase the intensity of regional security management and control work and increase the demand for work


❹Citizens in closed and isolated management have difficulties in purchasing and distributing food and daily necessities, and their daily life needs are hard to meet


How can we help the medical field through robot design to meet the growing demand? Let's take a look at the next medical scene research and analysis to understand why robots can help.

How robot help the medical field

Understand the needs of front-line staffs in the hospital 

The crowd relationship in a hospital during a major epidemic period is composed of medical staff, security and cleaning staff, and patients, and the hospital is responsible for the overall management of all this. Therefore, in the early stage of the research, we selected the target users to be medical staff/security cleaning personnel/patients/hospitals.


Design research process

I took field observation and interview in the hospital's garrison has the demand for the propaganda of implementing epidemic prevention policies in the epidemic prevention scene, and also records the demands of medical / security personnel/patients in different task nodes.

Through my research and sorting, you can see the tasks and activities of various users in the medical scene from the user experience journey map, and the user pain points (the pain points come from the discomfort of various users in every medical site) and the opportunity points that the robot can support from the risk curve. I think about the appropriate use of robots in hazardous areas in the hospital scene layout plan to reduce the risk of infection of medical personnel in the risk hotspots.

The research process gradually identified three design requirements: to avoid infection, improve efficiency, and reduce complex workload.

Need 1 :  Avoid Infection


I combed the whole hospital/medical staff/security inspection (including cleaning staff) / people's movement process in the medical scene in more detail and found that the workflow of the red arrows in the original medical scene was the risk. In order to resist the epidemic, it is necessary to improve the existing process, reduce the contact points between people in the medical work, and largely avoid the chance of people being infected.

In the new workflow process after cooperation with robots (see the blue block and the blue arrow), I changed the original contact point to use robot service to successfully complete the delivery of food and medicine, assist medical staff to successfully complete the task, and protect the public and our angels in white silently through process optimization.

Need 2 :  Improve Efficiency


During the on-site investigation, I found that in the process of drug delivery, I could not get to the nurse station until I had sorted them once from the central pharmacy, and then I needed to sort these drugs twice after I got to the nurse station, and then I carried out the third sorting according to the patients and beds. A large number of repeated sorting wastes medical manpower and time, and the level by level sorting also leads to a higher probability of false sorting. Therefore, I hope to optimize the sorting process and complete the sorting work at the first stop.

By using the intelligent system to schedule the cooperation and automatic distribution between robots and machines, the three nodes of the original drugs in the nurse station, i.e. "secondary inspection" - > "management" - > "separate bed classification", can be subtracted, which saves a lot of time in the distribution process of each robot and improves the distribution efficiency of each robot.

Need 3 :  Reduce Complex Workload.


The routine work of ward nurses includes drug screening, ward patrol, dressing change, answering questions of family members, etc. Among them, each ward is responsible for about 50-60 patients' drug dosage, which takes a lot of time in drug sorting:

❶Sorting times: the ward sorts drugs 4 times a day,

❷Total sorting amount: over 1000

❸Sorting time: 40-90 minutes each time

❹Sorting drug types: there are about 1200 kinds of oral drugs in large hospitals, and the specifications are complex, which undoubtedly increases the difficulty of identification, sorting, and manual operation.

❺The proportion of treatment execution of prescription signing and medication was 50%, and the proportion of sorting, issuing, and recording of oral drugs was the most important.

Due to the manual operation of sorting and recording by nurses, not only the low technical content of the work but also the complex and repeated sorting work makes the situation of identification omission happen from time to time, which indirectly affects the health of patients.

My Solution

Give robots the ability to complete tasks corresponding to human in the medical scene


At present, Alibaba A.I.Labs(R-lab) had designed and developed a space shuttle medical robot with the following voice, education, transportation, mobile, and recognition capabilities to help people avoid infection, improve efficiency, reduce complex workload and help the medical field.


By analyzing the roles and requirements of medical staff/security cleaners/patients/hospitals in the medical scene in the early stage, I developed the interaction mode between Space Shuttle medical robot and human in the design stage and detailed which interaction modules should be dispatched by robots in each small station in the medical scene to interact with the above four human roles.


Through the capability comparison diagram of the robot in the above figure, we can know what kind of capability the robot has to cooperate with the medical staff/security cleaning personnel/patients/hospitals so that people can work and live without the risk of exposure to the virus.

Features of the design of Space Shuttle Robot

multi-cell pop-up chamber box


The nurse in the ward is the most intensive contact node when delivering medicine and taking medicine from patients.


Therefore, we designed a multigrid medicine cabin, which can put standard medicine and non-standard medicine. After arriving at the ward, the robot can recognize the patient by face recognition and voiceprint and then give the patient-specific medicine.


The pop-up design of the medicine cabin can also avoid contact infection. The medicine will also be automatically sterilized after the patient takes it.

Contactless design


There are a lot of bacteria in the medical environment. When the medical staff and patients just open the hatch cover or take a medicine bottle to contact, their hands may be infected with many bacteria.


When they touch the mouth and nose unconsciously, it is the chance for bacteria and viruses to invade.

Therefore, the space shuttle medical robot adopts a non-contact design, so that medical staff can use voice recognition, gesture recognition, and face recognition to operate the medical robot in the sterile space, and also enable patients to open and close the door of the robot through the above identification mode to take the medicine that pops up automatically from the corresponding number of cells with the patient.


As long as the medicine door and the medicine cabinet have been opened, they will be sterilized automatically when they are closed.

Modular design


Due to the modular design features, Alibaba's medical intelligent robot can customize special sensor modules to expand the additional capabilities of the robot according to the needs of customers and special epidemic periods.

For example, by adding the detection module of virus concentration in the air, we can understand the concentration of virus in the air in different areas and remind people to avoid dangerous areas by combining the big data in the cloud.

Intelligent future of human robot cooperation


This outbreak not only tests human nature but also the ability of designers to find and solve problems. We can also see that the robot product can not only serve people at ordinary times, but also help people avoid infection contact, reduce the loss of life and property through proper design and process scheduling in case of a major epidemic, and truly bring people temperature and improve social welfare.

Alibaba's artificial intelligence laboratory robot team hopes to use robots to significantly reduce the chance of cross-infection in the work of people / medical / security personnel. Some patients with mild diseases and remote consultation with robots can reduce the contact chance of infection and save medical consumables. After sharing the complicated work with robots to reduce the physical load of medical staff walking back and forth and propaganda, the time saved can be used to care for severe patients and rest.

In the future, with the help of historical disaster and epidemic, big data combined with artificial intelligence, epidemic prevention maps, and public opinion analysis and judgment will be established and the epidemic solutions will be continuously improved. In the next time, in the face of major epidemic situations and disaster, early warning will be given in advance, and in the critical moment, robots will work together with people to solve medical problems.