In Hong Kong - as covered in ZDNet, Futurism, and QZ.com - authorities are employing robots to disinfect the city's crowded subway system. These remarkable robots (costing $129,000 apiece) stroll through different subway cars to spray disinfectant in those hard-to-reach spots in cars, helping contain the spread of the coronavirus. It takes about four hours to clean a full train. How much longer do you think it will be before these start helping out subways and mass transportation around the rest of the world?
Robots are also helping out around hospitals throughout the world. Picking up on the "stop the spread" thread from the MTR subway, robots are patrolling floors of hospitals to help kill off harmful germs. Profiled in BoingBoing and IEEE Spectrum, the Danish-made UVD robots head into empty patient rooms and "zap" the area with a super-powerful blast of ultraviolet radiation that destroys those destructive viruses. Take a look at it - it's remarkable technology. You have to wonder how this tech will help even after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
That's not all that robots are doing to help in hospitals. We've also seen:
There are other future efforts in place when it comes to robotic technology helping out in hospitals - like this robotics startup called "The Ventilator Project" looking to produce a low-cost ventilator to combat the crisis. It earned coverage in The Robot Report.
Incredible achievements throughout. In this time of sacrifice and effort from our heroic medical workers, it's great to see how robots are providing a helping hand.
Crowds are an ally of the coronavirus - and autonomous or remote-controlled tech are helping disperse them. As covered in Popular Mechanics, police in Spain are using drones to yell at crowds to disperse. Drones may also help out in the future for detection. This article in New Atlas details a new technology that may help detect infectious diseases from the air.
Elsewhere, Chinese self-driving vans are just about doing it all when it comes to the outbreak: delivering supplies, doing food runs, and spraying disinfectant to stop the spread. Read all about it in Futurism. Oh, and robots are also helping to serve customers in diners, as covered by Business Insider; those efforts help stop the threat of COVID-19 posed by food preparation and delivery.
It's enlightening and hopeful to see that the robotics industry around the world is responding with the type of creative solutions we've come to expect. These novel technologies and resources are helping to ease workloads, stop the spread, and save lives - truly a shining example of the potential of robotics.
Be on the lookout for more stories about robotics getting involved in the fight against the coronavirus.
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