The use of robotics in the reduction of dull, dirty, and unsafe tasks is commonplace.
Some of the scenarios in which robots are sent in include the detonation of bombs and investigation of uncharted and potentially dangerous environments.
And as the world looks on, China is accelerating the use of robotics to assist with the public health crisis that is Covid-19, or as it’s more commonly known, the coronavirus.
With almost 2 million cases and more than 125,000 deaths from the disease worldwide – and rising daily – reducing the risk of person-to-person transmission is of the highest priority for government and health officials.
And robots are helping out. Below are some examples of how.
- Chinese hospitals are leveraging robot technology from PuDu (above) in autonomously delivering cooked food and medication to patients.
- For those who need it, last mile delivery robots ensure fresh supplies of food and other goods reach them as required – eliminating the need for human-to-human contact.
- Self-driving robots, like those from UVD Robots, are reducing the spread of the virus in local hospitals through ultraviolet disinfection methods.
- Using the latest in thermal imaging, drone technology is being used to improve the detection of fever in people across public domains.
- Drones are also being used to provide education and safety instructions to the general populous.
- Mini remote controlled robot tanks are being used to disinfect streets and neighbourhoods where confirmed cases of the virus have been reported.
- Robots like those from Antwork (main picture) are providing large-scale robotic delivery networks, to get medical supplies to healthcare providers and ensure human samples are transported safely to laboratories.
- Helping to limit the global spread of the disease, companies like GermFalcon are supplying robots for infection prevention and emergency preparedness in air travel.
But, robots are no stranger in the healthcare system. In the 1980s, robots evolved from being used for only industrial use, to assisting in intricate, and often complicated surgical procedures.
Today, the use cases in healthcare are much broader, with robots used for cleaning, delivery, dispensing medications, providing a companion, or lifting a patient out of bed.
And now, robots are being used to deal with the containment of the coronavirus.
Robotics companies are acting fast. But this is not without challenge. Centrally managing burgeoning robotic fleets, getting to market as quickly as possible, and providing the right levels of support in triaging issues with robots is now a priority.
A new level of collaboration across the technology industry is required in tackling the containment of this disease.