We are the robots! …or at least we are calling on them more than ever to assist with the coronavirus crisis.
From the use of drones in the nation-wide disinfection program right here in the UAE to temperature-checking droids in hospitals in Wuhan, and patrolling robotic dogs in Singapore, advanced technology is shining in the fight against Covid-19. As Claus Risager, CEO of Blue Ocean Robotics and Chairman of the Board of UVD Robots, commented on their contribution to the cause: “We are now helping solve one of the biggest problems of our time, preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses with a robot that saves lives in hospitals every day.” Could this be the impending advancement of our dependence on our mechanical counterparts more in the future?
The pathogen killing LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots are the first user-friendly disinfection system of their kind. These guys can make light work of disinfecting a hospital room in 20 minutes and equipment in five minutes inside its ‘Disinfecting Pod’. It works by emitting waves of ultraviolet (UV) light which is able to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.
Tunis Police Bots
Tunisian police have put their mechanical counterparts to work by sending them out on patrol on the streets. The locally-built robots are remotely operated and equipped with infrared and thermal imaging cameras, in addition to a sound and light alarm system. They helped enforce the lockdown rules and provide public service messaging en route.
In Singapore, this four-legged mechanical pup has been keeping park-goers in check when it comes to social distancing rules. The little yellow dog-bot named ‘Spot’ has cameras and sensors, which it can use to spot anyone breaking the rules and broadcast (or bark?) warnings too.
The UK and America are making use of these small self-driving robotic delivery vehicles. The nifty six-wheeled tribe of bots has been enlisted to help with supermarket runs and shopping trips for those in need and on the front line. Carrying items up to an impressive six-kilometer radius, in Milton Keynes in England they use the town’s handy large network of cycling paths to get around. As an electronically powered robot, they are also friendly on the environment.
This Beijing-based robotics company provided 14 robots to Wuhan hospitals to help treat Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms. The robots are able to clean and disinfect, deliver medicine to patients, and even measure patients’ temperature. The machines can then log their data for us humans to do the analysis. The companies lead model is dubbed Pepper The Humanoid. She’s also recently taken up a post in Lindlar, western Germany at a local supermarket. She diligently provides information at the Edeka store on protective measures and promotes positivity and a sense of community among shoppers who may be uncertain amidst the pandemic.
These disinfection robots are a Danish creation. They also use powerful UV light to destroy any nasties. Currently in use across Chinese hospitals, the robots are programmed to understand the layout of the hospital wards so that they can go about their business autonomously.
Image courtesy of Zora Bots
Five of these anti-epidemic robots made by Belgian company Zora Bots were sent to Rwanda by the UN. The handy helpers are being used for temperature checking, identifying people not wearing masks, and can even detect abnormalities in patients which could help prevent and treat the virus. They are also pretty handy delivery aids and can transport medicine and other basic necessities to medical staff and those in need.