COPENHAGEN – Danish researchers have developed a fully automated robot that can take coronavirus swabs so that health professionals are not exposed to the risk of infection.
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Lifeline Robotics hope that their “hyssop robot” prototype can be implemented soon to relieve healthcare professionals of the potentially risky task of evaluating patients.
When a patient presents an identification card, the robot prepares a sampling kit, makes the swab, and places the sample in a container ready for analysis, explained Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, professor of robotics at SDU.
In a video, Savarimuthi tested the robot on itself. He placed his face with his chin in a plastic frame, opened his mouth wide, and allowed a robotic arm to insert a swab into the back of his throat and rotate it.
The robot, powered by artificial intelligence, uses cameras to find the correct part of the throat and is programmed to gently clean it, the developers explained.
“The exact same procedure is repeated over and over again, which will give better quality of the samples,” Savarimuthu said.
“There will be a global demand, a global need for more testing, more automated testing, to protect and protect those on the front line,” said Lifeline Robotics CEO Soeren Stig.