Prime Minister Modi with Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser of the US President, and Mitra the robot developed by Bangalore-based startup Invento Robotics founded by Balaji Viswanathan.
-: M Roshini :-
As healthcare professionals continue to valiantly fight against the novel coronavirus, robots will soon join them in the frontlines. Astra, a robot developed by Invento Robotics based in Bengaluru, can scan patients for symptoms, collect critical data, disinfect quarantine rooms, and do much more.
The humanoid will soon start working at hospitals and can help to fill the gaps left by social distancing. A big concern in any disease outbreak is minimising risk to the doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are in direct contact with sick patients. If those caregivers also become ill, it means less treatment for patients.“The robot, which is powered by a chargeable battery, is equipped with cameras, sensors, and thermal sensors. This will help to screen patients who are coming in for COVID-19 tests. First, the robot will scan the patient for any symptoms such as fever, cough, and runny nose. If there are any, it will automatically connect to a doctor, with whom the patient can interact virtually. Finally, the doctor will decide whether the patient needs to be tested. This helps to keep the doctors safe,” says Balaji Viswanathan, CEO, Invento Robotics.
Apart from screening patients having symptoms of the virus, Astra uses powerful UltraViolet rays to disinfect quarantine rooms and hospitals. “The robot can move on its own through quarantine rooms using sensors and cameras. It can also disinfect a standard-sized room within 20 minutes. This is a proven method used by other countries across the globe to tackle the pandemic,” says Balaji Viswanathan. Allowing robots to interact with patients could dramatically reduce the risks for healthcare professionals who are running short of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“Astra can also take the place of humans to carry essentials to a patient or deliver food inside isolation wards. The top half of the robot is removable and it can be changed according to the purpose. The robot is protected from catching the virus and spreading it because the UV rays it emits will disinfect its own body,” says Mr Viswanathan. While the software for the robots are ready and tested, the full product will come into action within a few weeks. “The robots are being provided free of cost across various government facilities in India. We are also receiving enquiries from other countries, for whom we are modifying the product according to their approved guidelines,” says Mr Viswanathan.
Before the crisis, robots were used to replace human work in various jobs.
From call centres to banks, they have been improving customer service and minimizing human contact.