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Coronavirus pandemic: IIT researchers developing robots to deliver food, medicines to patients in isolation wards

The team from IIT Guwahati's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments believes the move will reduce human intervention in isolation wards.

April 01, 2020 / 11:42 AM IST
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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) are developing two robots which can be deployed in isolation wards for COVID-19 infected cases for delivery of food and medicine to patients and collection of contagious waste.

The team from IIT Guwahati's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments believes the move will reduce human intervention in isolation wards.

"We are working on two robots--one for medicine and food delivery to isolation wards which can be customised as per the needs of the hospital and the second robot will be specifically for toxic and contagious waste collection from isolation wards," a team member told PTI.

"The prototypes will be ready within two weeks, following which a test run will be conducted at the institute hospital and Centre of Nanotechnology where training is being conducted for health center doctors, nurses and healthcare workers - for handling and necessary precautions to be followed during COVID-19 breakout. Once done, the plan is to make robot-based screening units too" he added.

The institute is also in the process of setting up an advanced research centre and laboratory for COVID-19 analysis, which would help the entire Northeast region to test for COVID-19 and other dreadful virus detection and diagnosis.

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"Our idea is to make this a state-of-the-art facility for the entire Northeast region. This centre in future would help to develop highly competent manpower for diagnosis of different infectious diseases in the early stage of infection and thus its prevention too," said IIT Guwahati Director, TG Sitharam.

"We have already provided two real-time PCR machines to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for the diagnosis of coronavirus. These machines would help in ramping the testing process by analysing 1000 samples if run for 12 hours continuously and 2000 samples in 24 hours," he added.

The number of novel coronavirus cases climbed to 1,397 on Tuesday after 146 new infections were reported across the country, while the death toll due to the pandemic rose to 35, according to the Union Health Ministry.

The active cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) stands at 1,238, while three deaths -- two in Punjab and one in Maharashtra -- were reported, the ministry said in an updated data on Tuesday night.
PTI

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