The global battle against COVID-19 has seen technology play an extremely important role in assisting humans in containing the spread of the virus and dealing with the existing cases. One of the key technologies that has made a huge difference on the ground is robotics. A large number of hospitals across the globe are currently using robots to aid both the healthcare staff and patients.
A study published in the Science Robotics says, “Robots have the potential to be deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border controls. As epidemics escalate, the potential roles of robotics are becoming increasingly clear.”
“For disease prevention, robot-controlled non contact ultraviolet (UV) surface disinfection is being used because COVID-19 spreads not only from person to person via close contact respiratory droplet transfer but also via contaminated surfaces,” the study further says.
How countries are using robots
In the UK’s Edinberg, robotic experts are working on what they claim would be the first healthcare robot that will hold conversation with more than one individual at the same time. The project has been designed to help elders. Experts believe the breakthrough could help in dealing with future disease outbreak like the ongoing pandemic someday. Speaking to bbc.com, Oliver Lemon, a professor of Computer Science at Edinburg’s Heriot-Watt University, “You can imagine in the future that when you walk into a hospital waiting room, instead of encountering a human you encounter a robot that’s able to help you.” “That kind of hands-free, touch-free speech interface is really going to be in more demand,” he added.
In the US, the COVID-19 patients are being kept in isolated areas with two beds at the Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington. Doctors are taking the help of a robot, which is equipped with a microphone, stethoscope and camera. This way, doctors are able to treat patients without coming in contact with them directly.
In China, Disinfection Robot UVD was in high demand since the outbreak of the pandemic. A large number of hospitals in the country have been ordering the robot which is manufactured by Denmark’s Blue Ocean Robotics. These robots have played a key role in controlling the virus in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus.
With the changing time, just like other technologies, robots are also playing an important role in fight against diseases like COVID-19. In the case of an outbreak, the robotic technology can play a crucial role in not just assisting the patients but also keeping the doctor and healthcare staff safe.