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Researchers Trial Robots to Alleviate COVID-19 Burden

Researchers are studying how robots can be used to help the general public from the clutches of the coronavirus.

Researchers have been tapping into the potential of AI and other emerging technologies to come up with groundbreaking innovations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the researchers from the UK are trialling humanoid robots for assistance during the hard times of isolation.

Robots are being tested to determine their applicability to fight the pandemic. Some robots are being deployed to disinfect public places. The University of Leeds is using such robots to disinfect the Leeds Bradford Airport among other public places.

The robots were developed as a joint project by the University of Leeds and Birmingham and University College London. These robots use navigation, artificial intelligence and computer vision to perform the tasks.

A supermarket chain, Asda is also testing automatic trolley wash to protect shoppers from the virus. The electricity-powered facility is currently being tested at Asda’s Leeds shop but may be rolled out across the whole of UK if it is successful.

Another humanoid robot named Pepper has taken the internet by storm. Pepper can make phone calls, conduct mask checking and help in maintaining social distance.

A supermarket chain in Germany deployed Pepper as a countermeasure for the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Apart from its capabilities, Pepper has been designed to be extremely friendly while imparting an optimal user experience. Mauro Dragone, the project’s lead scientist stated:

We are specifically interested in understanding the needs of the most vulnerable at this time and what technology could be used to make their lives better. Successful innovation in the field is crucial to alleviate the strain on health and social care services.

Even in India, certain hospitals have deployed robots to assess and diagnose patients suffering from cold and flu. These robots also use face recognition technology to check the temperature of the patients.

The healthcare industry is seeking the support of advanced technologies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Robotics, IoT and AI technology is needed now more than ever. The robots are being developed in a way to provide contact-less experience and other innovative solutions. We have reported how MIT and other institutions are working on innovative projects to come out of these unprecedented times.

Muskan Bagrecha
Muskan is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor's in Technology. With a zealous spirit for writing, she finds herself open to the vast realm of learning. She is an avid programmer with a keen interest in technology and science.


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