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Could Robots Be Deployed in Battle With COVID-19?


WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Robots can present important assist in the struggle towards coronavirus, specialists say.

Their makes use of embrace: affected person care resembling telemedicine and decontamination; logistics resembling supply and dealing with contaminated waste; monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines, and serving to individuals preserve social connections, in line with a paper revealed March 25 within the journal Science Robotics.

“Already, we have seen robots being deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border controls,” the authors wrote.

Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute on the University of California, San Diego, is the lead creator.

His staff famous that robot-controlled ultraviolet (UV) floor disinfection has already been used as a result of COVID-19 spreads not solely from individual to individual but in addition by way of contaminated surfaces.

“Opportunities lie in intelligent navigation and detection of high-risk, high-touch areas, combined with other preventative measures,” the authors mentioned in a college information launch. “New generations of large, small, micro- and swarm robots that are able to continuously work and clean [i.e., not only removing dust but also truly sanitizing/sterilizing all surfaces] could be developed.”

In addition, they mentioned “social robots” might foster interplay and adherence to remedy regimens with out spreading illness.

“This is a challenging area of development because social interactions require building and maintaining complex models of people, including their knowledge, beliefs, emotions, as well as the context and environment of interaction,” they added.

Christensen and his colleagues predicted that the coronavirus pandemic might be the tipping level of how organizations function.

“Rather than canceling large international exhibitions and conferences, new forms of gathering — virtual rather than in-person attendance — may increase,” they defined. “Virtual attendees may become accustomed to remote engagement via a variety of local robotic avatars and controls.”

They additionally predicted that the pandemic’s affect could drive sustained analysis in robotics to deal with infectious illness dangers.

“Without a sustainable approach to research and evaluation, history will repeat itself, and technology robots will not be ready to assist for the next incident,” they concluded.

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