Humanoid robot created as filter for suspected Covid-19 patients

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The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

The first Mexican company to develop, produce and sell humanoid robotics in the country, Roomie IT Services , creators of Roomie Bot, have developed in a couple of weeks a prototype robot that aims to identify suspected cases of Covid-19.

Humanoid robot created as filter for suspected Covid-19 patients
Humanoid robot created as filter for suspected Covid-19 patients

Machine   approaching patients in a hospital waiting room or offices, triggering a conversation where they ask certain questions in depth and then do a temperature and oxygen review. There it is decided if it happens to a second checkup with a doctor or if it is sent home.

Aldo Luévano, creator of Roomie Bot and who leads the team of more than 60 certified experts in various technologies, assures that since they learned of the pandemic, they began to work with infectologists Iván Alcántara and Javier Villagroy, from Hospital Los Ángeles, to adapt a humanoid robot, which they already have ready for sale to companies, and they integrated, at the hardware level, a standard infrared thermometer and software level, with machine learning , training to carry out the first questionnaire.

“The main objective of our robot is to protect medical personnel and patients , and prevent the spread of the contagion, as well as strengthening the health system at the highest point of the pandemic, serving as the first point of contact (triage) in hospitals. Here it should be clarified that it does not perform diagnosis, only a first filter, so they do not replace doctors, “he says.

According to the definition made by the Ministry of Health in Official Letter No. DGE-DG-DVEENT, on “Epidemiological Surveillance COVID19”, suspected cases are all those persons of any age who in the last 7 (seven) days have presented at least two of the following signs and symptoms: cough, fever or headache (in children under the age of irritability can replace headache). Accompanied by at least one of the following signs or symptoms: Dyspnea (severity data), arthralgia, myalgia, odynophagia, rhinorrhea, conjunctivitis, chest pain. ”

Therefore, the humanoid robot is capable of:

1. Identify fever using an infrared thermometer.

2. Identify dyspnea , by means of an infrared oximeter (in development).

3. Verbally interact through a natural language processing module, ready to be trained, to identify other symptoms (cough, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, odynophagia, rhinorrhea, conjunctivitis or chest pain) and obtain demographic and clinical data (diseases such as hypertension and diabetes) of patients.

4. Autonomy , through a mobility module that allows you to move freely in any space, identify people through a depth camera and interact with them.

Today the company has the prototype ready and is in talks with hospitals to test the product as soon as possible. Aldo ensures that the company has the capacity to assemble and deploy 100 robots, with manual manufacturing, in three months.

“This situation gives us the vision that we are not ready to face a pandemic, but private or public hospitals should have tools to deal with this. We believe that humanoid robots should remain in the installed base of hospitals to be prepared for outbreaks of the same or another pandemic, “says the expert.

These 100% Mexican companies have been recognized by MIT as the most important innovators in LATAM and in Mexico. They have deployed +10 MVPs of service robots in companies such as Bayer de México, Santander, Banorte, Barcel and Bimbo with contracts signed for a potential of massive deployment of +1000 robots. And they have partnerships with Intel and Amazon Web Services.

Guang-Zhong Yang, editor of WIRED magazine, assures, in the article “The Covid-19 pandemic is a crisis for which robots were built” , that although medicine is particularly difficult to automate because it requires motor skills Fine, compassionate and quick decision-making, it would be nice if doctors and nurses could be protected by delivering more tasks to robots.

“In situations like this, robots could be used not only to help with social distancing, but also to increase social interaction. Robots have the potential to be deployed for disinfection, delivery of medicine and food, measurement of vital signs and assistance to border controls. As epidemics increase, the potential roles of robotics are increasingly clear, “says Guang-Zhong.

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