How Mobile robots are helping in this pandemic war

How Mobile robots are helping in this pandemic war
  • Ak Niloy
  • 03 June, 2020

How Mobile robots are helping in this pandemic war

We are now in the middle of the war with this deadly virus called coronavirus. It’s been almost six months since the virus first appeared in Wuhan, china. During these six months it has affected 160 countries, 34million people , and already over 300 thousand people dead. And the main effective weapon against this disease is still maintaining social distancing, a feat. very hard for people in general and almost impossible for people while participating in certain tasks. And for a time like this, robots have been on the frontline giving services to people safely while performing its tasks seamlessly. Let’s look at some of the latest robotic technologies which are helping to fight COVID-19.


First we are going to look at this nurse-robot from Nurse robot called Tommy. The robot is one of the prototypes of Sanbot elf from an Italian robotics company called OMITECH. The robot is a social robot that actively interacts with the patients. Tommy is able to move on its own from one ward to another ward without any manual control. One of the key features of Tommy is that Tommy has built-in sensors to measure a patient’s heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure etc crucial information and keep the doctors updated. The robot has a built-in tablet within itself with each the doctor can do video conference with the patient contact-free. Tommy was deployed in some hospitals of Italy, a country severely hit by corona-virus. For the safety of the doctors & the nurses, robots like Tommy ensure a better survival rate. Other countries such as China, Japan, USA, India are also using these robots.

Tommy the nurse-bot


Disinfectant robot

These robots are moving around the hospital wards and disinfecting them using UV lights.  A subdivision of a Danish company Blue-ocean robotics is called UVD robots. These robots are using UV lights to destroy potential germs in the hospital wards routinely & automatically. Another great helping hand for the hospital’s cleaning department. Similar robots are being produced by Xenex in USA.

UVD robot 


We’ve all heard about self-driving cars. Delivery robots are almost the same thing but they operate on a much smaller scale. These robots deliver grocery, food, medicine within small areas, about ½ km radius. China has been using them effectively. Robots from Meituan have been delivering in China for almost a year now as well as robots from Zen Robotics. Similar robots are working in USA. Companies like starship robot, Refraction AI are slowly building its popularity and this autonomous delivery system might help us maintain better social distancing and prevent the spread of the disease as well as saving people working with risk at the food delivery service. 

 Delivery-robot from Starship Technologies


These robots are patrolling designated areas. Key features of these robots are detecting people with or without masks and other safety measures and give warnings. Face detection for restricted peoples also thermal cameras that can detect persons with fevers and proper screening without any contact. These robots are saving the police force a ton of time and effort as well as ensuring their safety.

Robocop from Inova Robotics

All of these technologies are the application of autonomous mobile robots. Autonomous mobile robots have the capability to perceive the environment using sensors, built a map of the surrounding environment, learns its position in the map also get to its goal location within the map. It’s a shame that although very common in other countries, this technology is still missing in our country.  As our country is still fighting against covid-19, technologies like these are needed to improve the state of the country and save lives. Hopefully more people will look at this sector in the near future and pioneers will emerge in our county.  

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If you want to learn more about mobile robots please keep an eye on the blog. I will soon be publishing a series on the basics of mobile robots.