Robotics combatting Coronavirus

Some of the news and updates relating to how a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the globe are, quite frankly, alarming and reality is sinking in that we are in this for the long haul!

30 March 2020

autonomous caregiver robot is holding a insulin syringe, giving it to an senior adult woman in her living room, concept ambient assisted living

By Gemma Monaghan, Operations Director at ABGI-UK

There is light amongst the gloom, however, and it is how people are coming together and driving forward ideas and solutions to combat this pandemic, whether through old fashioned people power or advancing innovative technologies.

Robotics is an exciting field, combining a wealth of technologies, from engineering for design and construction to computer systems for sensory feedback and information processing. The aim is to design intelligent machines that can help and assist humans in their day-to-day lives and keep everyone safe, which is becoming increasingly significant given the current global pandemic.

Experts around the world are coming together more than ever to provide support in this crisis, and robotics is without question a critical area in the fight against COVID-19.

In response to the danger the contagious virus poses to frontline healthcare providers, a government hospital in Rajasthan has instigated trials to assess the effectiveness of delivering food and medicines to infected patients . While experts in Edinburgh are working to create the first healthcare robots to hold a conversation with more than one person at a time, in response to a surge in demand for touch-free interfaces.

Further applications for the use of robotics include:

• Periodic, safe disinfection of internal and external surfaces, even extending this to intelligently detecting areas requiring treatment;
• The measurement of vital statistics on patients;
• Remote, automated testing for the virus; and
• Utilisation of delivery drones to reduce the risk on delivery drivers and customers.

We may also see a surge in manufacturing companies across the globe investing in and implementing robotic systems, as they become increasingly flexible, autonomous and demonstrate the ability to function to a greater degree without human intervention.

We work with a number of clients in the robotics industry, and with ever increasing applications, a drive for increased reliability and robustness, and a demand for devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment, claiming for R&D tax relief is a no-brainer!