Robotics Opportunity in the Time of Covid-19 Pandemic
Published on : Tuesday 07-04-2020
Since the coronavirus outbreak hit the world severely, governments worldwide are taking precautions steps to prevent the virus from spreading. In such a situation, social distancing comes out as an imperative scientific solution in containing the spread of the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) even has advised physical distancing for people around the world to prevent community-level transmission of Covid-19. Luckily, we have now robotic solutions that are playing a key role by simply taking workloads from tech companies to deliver foods and medicines to patients who are isolated to maintain physical distancing.
Propeller Technologies, a Tamil Nadu-based robot manufacturer, for instance, has introduced its Zafi and Zafi Medic robots last month at the city’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital. The robot is said to deliver food and medicines to Covid-19 patients under quarantine. On the other hand, Kochi-based Asimov Robotics, earlier this month, has debuted its KARMI-Bot, an autonomous robot that performs functions similar to Propeller’s robot, it has an additional feature of being able to disinfect the premises using ultra-violet radiation.
Supplying essentials to homes and delivering treatment in high-risk areas, robots are also using in providing telemedicine. For example, doctors in Singapore are utilizing telemedicine robots to interact with patients remotely. These robots take the form of electric cars embedded with cameras, video monitors and health measurement equipment. By using these devices, medical staffs can increase their patient interactions without having to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks.
Moreover, leaving packages on doorsteps is an option, JD.com, a China-based company, has drawn an innovative idea. As the company is already leading autonomous delivery systems space, it has used the quarantine conditions to push its autonomous ground vehicles from the lab to the street. In the form of miniature electric vans, JD.com's delivery robots are safely driving along Wuhan’s roads and delivering the last-mile package delivery. Besides, these robots are capable of piloting themselves around complicated road conditions day or night.
Taking the advantages of robotics opportunity amid the Covid-19 outbreak, UVD Robots, a Danish-based company, is scaling up deployments of its robots to disinfect hospitals. A United States-based Germ Falcon is also offering a similar UV disinfection solution for aircraft.
Robotic solutions including ATRIS, AIMBOT, and Cruzr robots from UBTECH Robotics were deployed at a Shenzhen hospital providing treatment to Covid-19 patients. Typically used in areas of retail and hospitality, these robots have modified to carry out tasks to help keep the hospital safer for everyone, especially healthcare workers. The robots are able to perform tasks such as making video-conferencing services between patients and doctors, monitoring the body temperatures of visitors and patients, and disinfecting areas.
So, as robots can play a pivotal role in the present scenario by reducing human intervention at almost all levels, we believe the Covid-19 brings a great opportunity for companies to demonstrate robotics applications at large.