In the times of crisis where every medical center and the hospital is flooded with COVID-19 patients, this calls to action for technology companies and service providers to come forward and serve with their innovative capabilities. Amongst others, Robotics is one of the most disruptive technologies that is being utilized by many medical facilities to fight against the pandemic outbreak. From disinfecting premises to catering food to medical staff, robots are capable of carrying out various tasks in order to assist healthcare providers to work better and efficiently. Doctors can provide care and treatment at distance using robots while reducing the chances of getting infected from the patients. Moreover, many robotics companies have joined the cause and presented their technologies for better services to patients and doctors as well. Let’s explore further, how robotics companies are serving medical facilities amid coronavirus.
As Sunay Healthcare Supply signed an agreement with Danish company UVD Robots last month, self-driving Danish disinfection robots were shipped to a number of hospitals in China to help fight the coronavirus, also called COVID-19. The first robots shipped weeks ago and in the following days, many more robots were shipped via air to be deployed in the fight against the coronavirus. With ultraviolet light, the Danish robot can disinfect and kill viruses and bacteria autonomously, effectively limiting the spread of coronaviruses without exposing hospital staff to the risk of infection.
More than 30 disinfection robots designed and produced by a Shanghai enterprise TMiRob, have entered major hospitals in Wuhan, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, to combat the epidemic. The white robot deployed by the company has a hydrogen peroxide sprayer on its “head” and nine ultraviolet lamps in its “belly,” and can perform multiple forms of disinfection in environments where humans and machines coexist, said Pan Jing, CEO of Shanghai TMiRob, the manufacturer of the robot. Navigation technology enables the robot to avoid obstacles autonomously, he added.
Use of LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping™ Robots during the cleaning process has been proven to kill pathogens on surfaces in the environment that are known to cause healthcare-associated infections. Xenex’s standard protocol is to perform disinfection with the LightStrike™ Robot after manual cleaning has been performed. However, out of an abundance of caution in the interest of protecting healthcare workers, disinfection may be performed both before and after manual cleaning is completed. If a facility suspects they may be at risk of receiving a patient who has contracted 2019-nCoV, the company recommends keeping a Robot stationed in close proximity to the Emergency Department. This will allow rapid disinfection of the ER waiting room and other potentially contaminated spaces.
Shenzhen-based Pudu Technology, which usually makes robots for the catering industry, has reportedly installed its machines in more than 40 hospitals around the country to help medical staff. Pudu is an industry-leading intelligent distribution robot and low-speed driverless solution provider integrating robot R & D, manufacturing and sales. The company currently has more than 100 employees, including Shenzhen Headquarters and Chengdu Branch. R & D accounts for more than 50%.
Qianxi Robotics Catering
Robots have been whipping out 36 meals every 15 minutes to feed Chinese medical workers on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, according to a report. Qianxi Robotic Catering developed the culinary contraptions and donated them to the epicenter city, where overworked workers have little time — and few options — to chow down, the UK’s Mirror reported. The company said the pink mechanical hash slingers at each vending station can feed at least 120 diners each hour — 24 hours a day — and do so very hygienically.
Shanghai-based Keenon Robotics, which has long sold robots that deliver food to customers at restaurants like hotpot chain Haidilao, said it is accelerating plans to start selling medical robots. “We had been planning this for the past year, but the virus has caused us to speed things up,” said Chief Executive Li Tong in an interview. The company works to bring service robots into the real world to increase productivity and generate more economical benefits. Keenon Robotics can custom make for specialized purposes and functions as well.
An Israeli-made AI-powered robot assistant is being used in hundreds of hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, and corporate buildings in Asia to help minimize human-to-human contact as millions of people take precautions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak worldwide. Israeli startup Robotemi, the developer of the Temi robot assistant, says the product has already been distributed to hundreds of locations throughout Southeast Asia including China, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong. The Temi was initially conceived as a companion to senior citizens and busy families and executives and was not specifically intended to help with a virus outbreak but that is exactly what is happening, the Israeli company says.
Beijing-based robotics company CloudMinds sent 14 robots to Wuhan, China to help with patient care amid the coronavirus pandemic. The robots, some of which are more humanoid than others, can clean and disinfect, deliver medicine to patients and measure patients’ temperature. CloudMinds donated robots to several medical facilities in China, including the Wuhan Wuchang Smart Field Hospital, which was converted from the Hong Shan Sports Center. The robots cost between US$17,000 and US$72,000 each, a spokesperson for CloudMinds U.S., tells CNBC Make It.
A Cheetah Mobile-backed robotics company, Orion Star, has deployed robots in China that can help guide preliminary diagnosis and treatment, primary disclosure of medical information, and fixed-point delivery of medical supplies in hospitals. The robots, donated by Cheetah Mobile, have been deployed in Chinese hospitals, including Peking University Shougang Hospital, Beijing Haidian Hospital, Wuhan Vulcan Mountain Hospital, and Zhengzhou’s Xiaotangshan Hospital. Orion Star’s epidemic prevention and control program, powered by robots, aims to reduce the workload of medical staff and reduce the risk of infection by using robots to undertake a large number of simple but labor-intensive processing tasks such as pre-diagnosis, house inspection, and delivery.
Chinese developers have been working on the research and development of robots that can replace nurses in conducting throat testing to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. The R&D started over a week ago by the country’s major robot manufacturer Siasun and the Shenyang Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Multiple departments have been mobilized in the development, installation and testing work to save time. In a new coronavirus test, a nurse uses a swab to collect secretions from the patient’s throat for testing, which risks infecting the nurse because of the exposure to the virus. The robot, which will include a snake-shaped mechanical arm and a swab collection part, can be controlled remotely to protect the medical staff from being infected, according to Siasun Robot and Automation Co., Ltd.
The company, moreover, donated seven medical robots and 14 catering robots to the Shenyang Red Cross to help hospitals combat the virus.