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Charlotte Children's Hospital Gets a Delivery from Aethon's Train-Themed Robot This Fall

TUG Delivers Cheer, Medication and Equipment to Young Patients and Helps

Raise Money for Make-A-Wish Foundation

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Aethon Inc. today announced general availability of its train-themed "JR" autonomous mobile robot to children's hospitals across the country. Also, Aethon will make a donation to the national Make-A-Wish Foundation for each JR TUG that is deployed. The JR TUG was initially introduced at the University of California -- San Francisco (UCSF) Children's Hospital, and is currently delivering equipment to patients at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

In addition, Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, has agreed to place a JR TUG into service early this fall. Levine Children's Hospital, one of the newest and most technologically sophisticated specialty hospitals in the country, opened its doors to pediatric patients in December. The Levine robot is being funded by a grant from the Dreamcatcher Society, a local philanthropic organization that supports the hospital.

Modeled after the title character in the children's book "The Little Engine that Could," JR was originally developed to help grant a wish for Jericho Rajninger, a seven-year old leukemia patient from Larkspur, California, and was donated to UCSF Children's Hospital through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

As part of his chemotherapy treatment Jericho had to take more than 4,000 pills. He realized that the prospect of all that medicine could be frightening for other children. Jericho believed that having the medications delivered by a robot modeled after a train might make the prospect of all those pills more pleasant.

"We were honored to make Jericho's wish to help other sick children a reality," said Aldo Zini, CEO of Aethon. "We are extremely pleased that the JR robots are being deployed in other children's hospitals and hope that they will in some sense help sick children and their parents nationwide cope with a difficult experience."

JR is based on Aethon's TUG, a mobile autonomous robot that transports medical equipment and supplies. JR has drawers in its "caboose" from which medications can be drawn by nurses. The robot also features a conductor who speaks to children with the voice of legendary voice over actor Don LaFontaine. "Look out, here I come," "Thanks, from the bottom of my caboose," "Pardon my caboose, I'm turning around," "Engines revved and ready to go," and "Choo choo, gotta run" are among the phrases JR speaks.

"Our JR TUG makes the delivery of equipment and supplies more efficient while offering some cheer to our young patients," said Tom Lausten, director of Pharmacy Services at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "In addition, staff is able to focus on patient care without having to worry about the logistics of delivery."

Children's hospitals interested in purchasing JR should visit

About Aethon

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Aethon is a leader in affordable autonomous mobile robots for healthcare supply chain management. In healthcare, the company's patented technology platform is redefining hospital supply chain logistics by automating the location, delivery and recovery of key assets. The net result of Aethon's low-cost, easy-to-install, RFID-based asset utilization solution is improved caregiver efficiency and satisfaction, increased asset utilization, decreased equipment rentals, increased patient safety and satisfaction, and improved regulatory compliance. Nearly 100 hospitals nationwide have deployed Aethon's TUG and HOMER robots. For more information, visit

About Levine Children's Hospital

Levine Children's Hospital (LCH) is a 234-bed hospital located on the main campus of Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Offering more than 30 pediatric specialties, LCH is the most comprehensive children's hospital located between Atlanta GA and Washington DC. Levine Children's Hospital is part of Carolinas HealthCare System, the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas and the third largest public system in the nation. For more information visit (

SOURCE Aethon Inc.
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