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Bots to transportation!

One of the critical challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic is the transportation of human, food and other services. Several unmanned and manned solutions have been implemented all around the world.

The battle against coronavirus in Israel just got a helping hand from an unexpected source: the robotics club at the prestigious Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. Students and alumni of the robotics club, called “Galaxia 5987 in memory of David Zohar,” answered a call from Rambam Medical Center and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

In under a week, they developed a robot according to the hospital’s requirements. The prototype robotic platform, CoRobot, can shuttle supplies to and from the coronavirus ward to minimize the need for medical staff to enter and risk catching the highly infectious virus. CoRobot can be remotely operated by medical staff using a joystick or a smartphone app. They can see what is happening through the video camera attached to the robot.

An autonomous shuttle capable of transporting up to 15 people will enable the transport of coronavirus patients without putting a driver at risk. The vehicle manufactured by the French company NAVYA is imported and operated by a collaborative project of the Israeli subsidiary of Singapore ST Engineering Group and Israeli BWR. The Bar-Ilan Center for Smart Cities, in collaboration with the Sheba Hospital, Tel Hashomer, is about to start testing the autonomous shuttle. The testing is coordinated with the Israel Ministry of Transport. After it’s completion, the autonomous shuttle will be “operationally activated” for isolated drives. In the next few months, the shuttle will operate at the Bar Ilan University campus for Autotech research and commuting students around the campus. The vehicle is equipped with cameras, laser sensors, and high-performance guidance and detection systems supplying it with situational awareness. The vehicle is environment-friendly thanks to its 100% electric autonomous system. The possibility of using this autonomous vehicle also for the delivery of medications, laundry, and food for the patients at the hospital’s isolation sites is also considered.

A robotic delivery service in Milton Keynes could prove to be the future of locked-down Britain, as miniature autonomous vehicles bring food deliveries to almost 200,000 residents of the town.

Starship Technologies, an autonomous delivery startup created in 2014 by two Skype cofounders, has been testing its beer cooler-sized robots in public since 2015. The small, white, six-wheeled vehicles trundle along pavements to bring small deliveries to residents and workers of the neighbourhoods in which they operate, without the need for a human driver or delivery person.

ROBOMART is the robot vehicle will bring fruits, vegetables, and other perishable items from the supermarket aisle to customers' doors. The cargo area of the vehicle will be refrigerated and offer multiple shelves of various types of produce.

According to Robotmart founder Ali Ahmed, the company could compete with the on-demand giants taking on grocery delivery services, like Amazon, Instacart, and Postmates. Supermarket chains would license the platform and robots for a two-year lease, which Ahmed said will still be cheaper than opening a new store. They pocket the delivery fee instead of the on-demand operator.

Avoiding direct contact with infected person is a medical priority. An immediate monitoring and treatment using specific kits must be administered to the victim. The Ambulance Robot (AmbuBot) could be a solution to address those issues. AmbuBot could be placed in various locations especially in busy, remote or quarantine areas to assist in above mentioned scenario. It also brings along an AED in a sudden event of cardiac arrest and facilitates various modes of operation from manual to semi-autonomous to autonomous functioning .

The ambulance robot could be operated remotely using internet and doctors could instruct the local people for appropriate action. The robot could carry any required medical kit such as thermometer, AED, Coronavirus test kit, etc. Doctors could have bi-directional communication via the robot equipped with audiovisual channels. They could even remotely operate the robot wheels and arm.

Do you know about many other robots out there?

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