The very virulent and contagious CORONA VIRUS is on its way to being a full-fledged global Pandemic as almost all major countries in Asia, Europe, Arab and African states are affected. Enter the robotic arm that will help medical personnel avoid infection.
A robot designed to help medical workers treat coronavirus patients remotely is seen, after having been placed for pictures, during a demonstration for the media at the aerospace engineering school of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Mar 4, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
The machine, which consists of a robotic arm on wheels, can perform tasks that are normally carried out by doctors or nurses in person like ultrasounds, take mouth swabs and listen to sounds made by a patient’s organs, usually done with a stethoscope. When fitted with cameras, medical personnel can remotely monitor the patient. Doctors are all very brave,” said Tsinghua University Professor Zheng Gangtie, the robot’s chief designer. “But this virus is just too contagious … We can use robots to perform the most dangerous tasks.”
A robot designed to help medical workers treat corona virus patients remotely is pictured during a demonstration for the media at the aerospace engineering school of Tsinghua University in Beijing. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
On the first day of the Chinese New Year, Wuhan had just been put on lockdown Zheng heard from his friend, Dong Jiahong, executive president at Beijing’s Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, that the biggest problem was that of frontline workers getting infected. Wanting to do something to stem the increasing frontline medical workers. An idea came to him and began gathering a robotics team to build robotic arms. Zheng and his team, using space-age technology, was able to make two robotic arms like the ones used in lunar explorers. Being semi-automated the robots can disinfect themselves but needs human intervention to do other medical task remotely.
After putting the robots in hospitals in Beijing for trial runs one was quickly given to Wuhan Union Hospital, where training the doctors on its use was ongoing. Zheng plans to let the robots join the medical staff on its ward rounds to coronavirus patients in Wuhan
The team now has two robots, which have been trialed by doctors at hospitals in Beijing. One is still at the team’s lab at the university, but the other is at the Wuhan Union Hospital, where doctors started training to use it on Thursday. If all goes to plan, the robot may be put to use on coronavirus patients in Wuhan from Sunday, Zheng said. It would be joined on its ward rounds by a nurse or other member of staff.
Source: COVID-19 outbreak: Robotic arm designed in China could help save lives on medical frontline