One of the researchers in China's top universities had invented a robot that can help save thousands of lives and participate in the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak.
The robot consists of a robotic arm with wheels that can execute ultrasounds, take mouth swabs and analyze sounds made by a patient's organs which is usually with a stethoscope.
Medical tasks are typically done by doctors personally but with this robot, that has cameras installed, the medical staff doesn't need to be in the same place while taking medical tasks for the patient.
Zheng Gangtie, a professor at Tsinghua University, and the chief designer of the robot said that all doctors are brave but the coronavirus is too endemic that it spreads too fast that's why he invented a robot to help and perform dangerous tasks instead of putting the doctors in the field which has a higher risk of having them infected too.
Wuhan had the first case of the coronavirus and just had been put on lockdown and the number of infected people and deaths was increasing fast every day. Zheng came into the idea of building a robot around the turn of the Lunar New Year.
Zheng, as an engineer wanted to contribute something to help the doctors to reduce the risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, while talking to his friend, the executive president at Beijing's Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, Dong Jiahong told Zheng that the biggest problem of the frontline workers is getting infected, that when Zheng came to an idea of making a robot.
Zheng gathered a team to work on converting two mechanized robotic arms with the same automation used in space stations and lunar explorers. Zheng said that the robots are fully computer automated and can disinfect themselves after operating actions associating contact.
The evaluation from the doctors was that it would be better for them to be there to have less automation, and as a doctor, they can calm and comfort the patient directly, Zheng said.
The two robots were put into tests by the doctors at hospitals in Beijing. One robot is still at the university, at the team's lab. While the other one is at Wuhan Union Hospital where the doctors started to train on how to use the robot on Thursday.
Zheng said if all goes according to plan, the two robots might be used on the coronavirus patients on duty in Wuhan from Sunday. The robots will join the ward rounds accompanying nurses and other medical staff members.
The university would like to build more of the robots but the funding of the university has run out, Zheng said. The robot would cost around RMB 500,000 or $72,000 per piece. He doesn't have a plan on making the robot profitable but he hopes that a company comes along to take that on.
China has sent thousands of medical frontliners out to the epicenter of the outbreak which is in Hubei province, the state media said. More than 3,000 medical frontliners had been infected by the coronavirus last month, including the whistleblower, Li Wenliang, whose death in early February sparked a momentary outpouring of mourning and anger on Chinese social media.'