Jharkhand to use collaborative robot in COVID-19 isolation facility to cut down human interference

Called Co-Bot, it would transfer both medicines and food from one bed to another, without needing health workers to attend to COVID-19 patients and risk infection

April 14, 2020 04:23 am | Updated 04:23 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

The Co-Bot being tested by an attendant, April 13, 2020

The Co-Bot being tested by an attendant, April 13, 2020

The Jharkhand government is going to experiment with Co-Bot (collaborative robot) to check for infection in an isolation facility dedicated for COVID-19 patients. It is expected to cut down human interference in patient care.

The hospital where the first Co-Bot would be deployed is Chakradharpur Railway Hospital, where a isolation facility will be inaugurated on Tuesday.

In the isolation facility, the Co-Bot would transfer both medicines and food from one bed to another, without needing health workers to attend to COVID-19 patients.

“It is often found that doctors and nurses do have personal protective equipment. But, the lower-rung employees who have to supply food and water are exposed to coronavirus. So we have thought of deploying Co-Bot for carrying essential items from one bed to another,” said Aditya Ranjan, Deputy Development Commissioner of West Singhbhum.

The Co-Bot has been developed at ₹25000 per machine while its carrying capacity is 45 kg. The machine, run by remote control, can go a distance of 200-ft. It is fitted with both camera and speaker. The production can be scaled up depending upon its usability. According to Mr. Ranjan, one to two co-bots could be manufactured per day.

“We have big halls having 15 beds each covered by fiber case. We could send food from outside. It will reduce chances of infection between two persons. The delivery boys will be much safer now,” he said.

The Co-Bot was developed after many employees expressed their reluctance to be deployed in COVID-19 isolation facilities.

Earlier, a unique COVID-19 booth sample collection unit was set up in West Singhbhum district. The unit was dubbed to be safer, faster and more efficient collection of COVID-19 test samples.

Christened as Phone booth Covid-19 sample collection centre, it is a unique, low cost and portable sample collection unit for COVID-19 sample collection.

“It ensures safety of health workers while collecting samples from suspected patients. It is very easy to assemble and can be taken to different locations for testing. As the name suggests, the structure is just like a phone booth consisting of a small cubical for the health worker with covid-19 sample collecting kit,” said Mr. Ranjan. This blood and swab collection structure costs for ₹15,000 to ₹20,000.

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