Advanced robotic systems can help us manage Covid 19. But without research support all this cannot happen
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Is this the content of theeditorial published in the issue of Science Robotics March 25 “Combating COVID19 -The role of robotics in managing public health and infectious diseases“Signed by a group of international experts who reasoned on the present and future of robotics applied to epidemics, like the one we have to live today. The intervention, in several voices and all decidedly authoritative, answers the question: can robots be effective tools in the fight against covid-19? Yup, is the answer degthere authors. Which in the course of reflection provide a series of examples, as well as considerations, of how robotics apply to coronavirus and epidemics or pandemics in general allowing to minimize the risk of contagion of health personnel.
Automation for prevention
Robotics and automation could contribute effectively to the prevention, screening, diagnosis and management of infectious diseases, and to patient care by reducing the exposure of humans to the pathogen and therefore the spread of the disease, say the petitioners among which Guangzhong Yang, Director and co-founder of theHamlyn Center for Robotic Surgery, Vice President of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. Robots can remotely collect parameters such as temperature and more, and patient samples (swabs, for example), perform automated Drone diagnostic tests and non-people could transfer samples or deliver medicines.
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A turning point
We are not talking about science fiction but about royalty possibility. If it were not for that moment the resources needed to make robots do what they already know how to do, or how much they could learn do, they are insufficient. But with more resources robotics could realize its enormous potential to face the ‘boring, dirty and dangerous’ tasks of infectious disease management, is in this sense Covid-19 – experts reiterate – could be “the turning point” in reorganization process. Provided you prepare them, the robots. “The experiences with the Ebola epidemic (2015) have identified a wide spectrum of robot applications but funding for multidisciplinary research, in collaboration with agencies and industry, remains expensive, rare and destined for other applications” they said indeed experts, adding that “Without research support, history will repeat itself and robots will not be ready for the next epidemic. ”