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Coronavirus, even robots in the field to fight it

2020-03-26T08:42:41.139Z

From screening to controls (ANSA)



Clinical assistance, logistics, safety and work continuity: these are the main areas in which robotics can come to the aid of man during a pandemic to lighten certain functions. This is indicated in the editorial published in the journal Science Robotics by a group of 13 experts in robotics at an international level, including the Italian Paolo Dario, from the Institute of BioRobotics of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa.

"In complex situations like those of an epidemic, robotics can prove very useful in at least three strategic areas. The first is clinical assistance, for example in telemedicine and decontamination," write the experts. It can also help in prevention, diagnosis and screening, as well as in patient care.

By not being afraid of the virus and its consequences, robots can in fact reduce the risks and workload of staff, by carrying out some simple but demanding tasks. In China, for example, robots are being used for screening using thermometers or infrared cameras, for disinfecting surfaces, delivering meals and medicines to elderly people or in isolation, while in Spain they help speed up laboratory tests on swabs .
Other areas are logistics, such as in the management of waste, including contaminated waste, security for the control of those who must respect voluntary quarantines, and continuity of work, of social and economic functions.

According to researcher Howie Choset, of Carnegie Mellon University, "it's not just about indicating how robots could be used in a pandemic, but about inspiring others in the community to devise solutions for a very complicated problem."
A call that researchers are ready to pick up immediately. "Never as at this time - comments Dario - scientific research, training and the ability to translate all this into applications have proven to be fundamental. The Sant'Anna School is committed to making its own contribution, like the entire university system and of Italian research institutions ".

Source: ansa

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