RICHE - Robots In Controlled Healthcare Environments


Westfield Technology Group will be leading an innovative project in collaboration with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Cranfield University to demonstrate the application of cutting-edge driverless electric mini pod logistics, with temperature controlled lockers, linking into an existing robotic pharmacy.

The project will be testing a prototype interchangeable ("hot swap") temperature controlled locker system for fast deployment, within which medication will be securely transported. A "one-to-many" delivery concept will be trialed, whereby multiple orders will be delivered to a single location, eradicating the need for additional delivery and / or collection related journeys, providing an innovative way for members of the public/departments to receive goods, and in doing so conglomerating orders, targeting the reduction of vehicle miles between sites, related carbon emissions, allowing staff to be better deployed for direct care and reducing lead-time for patients.

The lockers will be loaded onto the mini pod by the pharmacy robot, with the mini pod then completing the defined routes. The mini pod will remain on site for an extended period of time so as to allow maximum flexibility for staff/public to collect at their convenience within a pre-booked window, to coincide with their departure from site or visits to the wards.

A complete chilled locker system will be manufactured for the mini pod integrating both facial recognition and QR code technology to provide locker access. To complement this, a supporting app will be created to provide information on locker location, delivery time, shopping top-ups and interactive messaging, to provide maximum flexibility to the consumer and staff. In addition, a supporting operator app will be created to provide information on locker location, delivery time, state of charge, on-board temperatures, remote locker override, mini pod and system errors.

Finally, through working alongside Cranfield University, the project will be fully integrated with their existing mechanical and software engineering faculties to provide hands-on experience in product development, as well as creation of new courses for IOT technology.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Westfield Sports Cars Limited, Kingswinford £349,631 £ 244,742


University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham £90,640 £ 90,640
Cranfield University, United Kingdom £53,697 £ 53,697


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