The Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences in Kochi was shut down last week when seven patients admitted for surgery tested Covid-19 positive.
In addition to this, a number of studies have revealed that people who underwent surgery are likely to contract the virus at a faster rate than others since their immunity tends to be very low.
To reduce the chances of further spread among patients admitted to surgical intensive care units in various hospitals, Kochi-based startup Asimov Robotics has created 'Sevabot'- a new robot that helps in the transportation of medicines and other necessary equipment to and from the ICUs. This will reduce human interference in the critical care unit.
The product is nevertheless an advanced version of 'Karmibot', a humanoid that was developed to cut down the role of humans in COVID-19 wards.
"I prefer to call Sevabots a group of miniature ambulances that will move through the corridors of the ICU, delivering goods within the designated hospital space by integrating itself into the human workflow. The bot is easy to operate. Once loaded, it can be sent to multiple destinations just by entering a command on a mobile or tablet application," said Jayakrishnan T, the CEO of Asimov Robotics, as reported by The New Indian Express.
In addition to this, the robot can also detect obstacles or barriers on its way to avoid a collision. It also moves at a speed that ensures the safety of the materials that it carries.
"It is sufficiently fast and can deliver items on time. It can sense if the pathway is busy and will move away from obstacles. Also, if a person blocks its way, it will request them to move and will either step aside or shut down till the path is cleared," he said.
The startup has recently installed a 'Sevabot' at Bengaluru's Narayana Hrudayalaya, which currently has more than 100 ICUs.
"There's a lot of activity in the ICUs. Doctors, nurses, and medical runners are always moving around delivering medicines, collecting microbiological samples, and attending to patients. We made multiple site visits, held extensive discussions, and collected data regarding the daily workflow of healthcare staff, trolleys, and hospital beds using a tracking system. The robot was developed based on all this. Installation of sensors was a challenging task as the Narayana Hrudayalaya had metal cladding, which reflected signals, on their walls. We have made the mobile base human-friendly and provided multiple sensors to ensure hassle-free transportation," added Jayakrishnan.
Their ultimate goal is to supply 10 more robots to this institute so as to ensure a safe working condition for the staff. One 'Sevabot' currently costs around 3 lakh rupees per unit.
Asimov Robotics has also been working on a new project called COVID Police, whose role would be to act as a security guard and regulate the entry of people to the halls. This new device would be responsible for checking the temperature of a person and whether or not they are wearing a mask. In case a person tends to show any symptoms, it will lock the door and deny entry.