Can robots be efficient equipment in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic? A bunch of leaders within the box of robotics, together with Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, say sure, and description plenty of examples in a piece of writing within the March 25 factor of Science Robotics. They say robots can be utilized for medical care similar to telemedicine and decontamination; logistics similar to supply and dealing with of infected waste; and reconnaissance similar to tracking compliance with voluntary quarantines.
“Already, we have seen robots being deployed for disinfection, delivering medications and food, measuring vital signs, and assisting border controls,” the researchers write.
Christensen, who’s a professor within the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego, specifically highlighted the position that robots can play in disinfection, cleansing, and telepresence.
Other co-authors come with Marcia McNutt, president of the National Research Council and president of the National Academy of Sciences, in addition to plenty of different robotics mavens from global and U.S. universities.
“For disease prevention, robot-controlled noncontact ultraviolet (UV) surface disinfection has already been used because COVID-19 spreads not only from person to person via close contact respiratory droplet transfer but also via contaminated surfaces,” the researchers write.
“Opportunities lie in intelligent navigation and detection of high-risk, high-touch areas, combined with other preventative measures,” the researchers upload. “New generations of large, small, micro-, and swarm robots that are able to continuously work and clean (i.e., not only removing dust but also truly sanitizing/sterilizing all surfaces) could be developed.”
In phrases of telepresence, “the deployment of social robots can present unique opportunities for continued social interactions and adherence to treatment regimes without fear of spreading more disease,” researchers write. “However, this is a challenging area of development because social interactions require building and maintaining complex models of people, including their knowledge, beliefs, emotions, as well as the context and environment of interaction.”
“COVID-19 may become the tipping point of how future organizations operate,” researchers upload. “Rather than canceling large international exhibitions and conferences, new forms of gathering–virtual rather than in-person attendance–may increase. Virtual attendees may become accustomed to remote engagement via a variety of local robotic avatars and controls.”
“Overall, the impact of COVID-19 may drive sustained research in robotics to address risks of infectious diseases,” researchers move on. “Without a sustainable approach to research and evaluation, history will repeat itself, and technology robots will not be ready ready to assist for the next incident.”