With the massive outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 across the globe, the first concern was that it is highly contagious. And phrases or words like “social distancing,” “quarantine” and “isolation” became the most common jargons everywhere. In these situations, robots came as the only messiah for human beings to fight against the coronavirus. The robots and drones are being used in assisting medical professionals, working as delivery men, maintaining warehouses, inventories, grocery stores and much more.
Read on to find out how the robots are being used at this hour of need and be thankful for the advancement of technology! This shows that technology, when used correctly, can not only helps humans but save humanity too from the perils of disaster!
Robots in Grocery Stores
Grocery stores are essential business centers that have to remain open during the coronavirus outbreak to provide the common people with their daily requisites and provisions. And the employees of such concerns are working overtime to meet this requirement. Hiring more workers during such harsh conditions is not at all an easy proposition for the retailers. And so to meet the rising demand of more employees, the retailers are using robots.
Tally is one such shelf-scanning robot that is equipped with 40 sensors that help it to avoid hurdles that come in its way while it navigates the floors scanning the shelves in each of these floors. It is a zero maintenance robot that can check 15000 to 30000 products in one hour while it audits the stock with the aid of computer vision, cameras, and machine learning. The robot can identify product placement, special promotions, prices, and availability.
Tally moves up and down the store aisles all by itself and quietly scans the shelves to identify the stock and locate the mispriced or misplaced items. The data obtained by Tally helps the store teams as they are saved from the tedious job of inventory and thus frees up humans who can devote more time for servicing the customers improving the shopping experience of the latter. Tally helps optimize products on shelves, place better-informed orders and product placement by analyzing trends. The data coming from Tally is helping the customers find things easier within the store. Thus it is a boon for both shoppers and new employees as the latter is yet to be accustomed to the store layout and product locations.
Providing Care and Treatment and Telemedicine
COVID-19 is burdening the healthcare professionals and systems wherever it is spreading to and causing huge taxation. Telemedicine, supported by robots, is helping the medical professionals to communicate with the patients remotely thus saving time and helping infected patients stay in confinement. Robots can communicate with quarantined individuals and acquire significant patient information which helps the doctors treat the patients. The robots are providing the so-needed relief to the exhausted medical professionals. Robots equipped with a microphone, camera, and stethoscope are helping clinicians in treating patients without coming in direct contact with them.
Robots and other IoT devices are being used for providing medical facilities. Patients are being screened at the hospital entrance equipped with 5G thermometers so that the staff is alerted if anyone is feverish. Patients are made to wear rings and bracelets which are synced with the AI platform so that certain vital parameters like heart rate, temperature, and blood oxygen levels can be monitored. Such devices were also worn by medical professionals for early detection.
Again, there were robots providing drinks, food, and medicine to the patients along with the so necessary information and entertainment through dancing.
COVID-19 is hugely contagious and “social distancing” is probably the only rescuing mantra. Human-to-human contact has to be minimized. Robots are immune to infection and naturally, tech companies are supplying robots to deliver medical supplies within the healthcare environments. Robots have also been assigned to deliver essential items to those who purchase or shop online and are probably on quarantine. Such delivery of medicines and meals is bound to reduce cross-infections.
Robots in Warehouses
Robots are being used in warehouses that support online shops for automating and streamlining the fulfillment of orders.
Robots for Medical Donation
Robots are also being used for getting medical aid donations to affected areas like Wuhan of China as the affected areas require the resource for treatment and testing of the coronavirus.
Robot as Cooks
In such hours of crisis, when many restaurants are facing staff shortage robots can be utilized to cook, serve and deliver food at restaurants.
Robots are being used to disinfect hospitals. The robots use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses throughout an area without causing any harm to humans. The bots are controlled by health workers from a safe distance. Automation by robots for the prevention of disease is simply a great way to prevent hospital-acquired infections.
Xenex robots are using pulsed xenon ultraviolet-C (UVC) light to swipe out the virus. They are being used in hospitals to clean the rooms and take as little as five minutes to clean a room.
Also, robots named GermFalcon have been built to sanitize airplanes and airports from coronavirus. These robots also use UVC to kill the pathogens.
Robots as Workers
Factories that manufacture and supply products are in huge dearth of workers and are facing a slack in production. And this sure is to affect the world economy. Staff is required to run the full production lines of these factories. Robotic automation can play a significant role here. Robots will ensure production, continuity, and reduction in costs even in such harsh situations.
Robots as Drones
Drones are being used to patrol areas and observe traffics and crowd efficiently. This is helping in locating people who are not using masks in public spaces. The drones are also useful in spreading information to a larger area as compared to traditional loudspeakers. Also, drones are being used to spread disinfectants in public spaces.
The thermal sensing attribute of drones is helping officials in managing crowds and identifying people with high body temperatures which could probably be an indication of the presence of the virus.
Drones are also being used for safely transporting medical and other supplies to hospitals saving humans from exposure to infections. The transportation is speedier through drones.
Spain has used drones to monitor people during lockdown periods. Again South Korea has deployed drones for disinfecting epidemic hotspot, Daegu. Terra drones have been utilized in Japan to flow quarantine materials and medical samples.