Robots used to fight coronavirus
March 23, 2020 - As countries around the world grapple with COVID-19, front line medical workers are deploying robots to help contain the pandemic.
China and Spain have used drones to monitor people during lockdown campaigns, while South Korea has deployed them to help disinfect areas in Daegu, an epidemic hotspot.
Early March, a field hospital staffed by robots opened in the Hongshan Sports Center in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began.
Dubbed the Smart Field Hospital, the facility is a project involving Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, China Mobile and CloudMinds, a maker of cloud robotics systems based in China and the U.S.
The Smart Field Hospital is a trial aimed at relieving exhausted health-care workers even as the outbreak in China slowed in recent weeks.
Robots in this facility include the “patrol robot”, which can check
temperatures, identities, and disinfect areas used by hospital visitors.
Other robots used elsewhere include the virus-zapping robot manufactured by Denmark-based UVD Robotics and Texas-based Xenex.
These machines move autonomously around hospital rooms, emitting beams of concentrated UV-C ultraviolet light to disinfect surfaces.
Recently, scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing have developed a robotic arm that can be controlled by doctors in a separate room.
The arm can swab patients' mouths, perform ultrasounds and even listen to their organs.
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