It’s easy to see how technology helps us in our daily lives. We use it to cook, clean, get to and from work, communicate, for recreation, and more.
During these uncertain times, we’re learning how technology can help fill the gaps and aid in COVID-19 relief efforts—and shore up our defenses against future disasters, too.
The more we learn now, the more we can both improve the current global situation, and future-proof ourselves as well.
Let’s explore some of the most beneficial ways robotics have been implemented throughout this pandemic. Here’s why our communities can expect to see these solutions stick around—or improve—even after the virus has run its course.
Stated by Ecorobotics, both ground and aerial robotics have been used to help the situation with the novel coronavirus in 2020.
Namely, 17 countries have utilized the technology for public safety (non-clinical public health), 7 have used it directly in clinical care, 7 for critical infrastructure and quality of life, 5 for laboratory and supply chain automation, and 3 for non-hospital (but still essential, i.e. nursing home) care.
One relevant application is in quarantined hospital rooms. Instead of a doctor coming in to take their temperature, measure blood pressure, or assess oxygen saturation, engineers have created robots that do it all remotely and safely.
Telehealth is exploding in popularity as people realize it’s not only possible but better in some instances. It saves on costs and commute times for those who would otherwise have trouble coming to a facility in-person.
Robotic devices hover and roll across floors, disinfecting large areas as they go without a single point of human contact—not to mention, getting the job done faster than any person could.
Food and supplies can also be delivered to those quarantined and unable to leave the hospital or their homes. Families, friends, and coworkers have been leaning on machines to communicate and connect, so no amount of physical separation can stand in the way.
Some countries even employed drones to fly around looking to see if their citizens were breaking quarantine—a governmental breach of privacy to some, but a life-saving measure to others..
In fact, research has found at least two dozen significant uses for robotics during these trying times.
From the delivery of healthcare services in and out of hospitals to automating testing and supporting public safety, technology has enabled us to continue working and living in this “new normal.” Without innovative technologies like these, our efforts to return to ordinary life would be hamstrung.
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It’s important to note that machines are not eliminating the jobs of front-line workers. Rather, they are completing tasks that can protect clinicians and other members of our workforce so they can do their jobs without getting sick—or worry about coming into work and asymptotically bringing harmful germs home to loved ones.
We can keep essential workers safe by giving some of their responsibilities to the bots. It lessens their workload and frees them up to focus on other crucial parts of their jobs, creating a win-win outcome for all.
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