Professor Gil Yudilevitch of Technion Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, together with students and alumni of the Reali School FIRST Robotics program, have designed a robotic platform that can be operated remotely by medical staff, reducing their risk of infection by COVID-19. Dubbed COROBOT, the platform will be used in Rambam Health Care Campus’ new Coronavirus Department.
Safeguarding the health of medical workers has become an international priority in light of the pandemic. Whenever a medical worker is diagnosed with COVID-19, the entire medical team must self-isolate for extended periods of time. Already, thousands of medical professionals have been forced to stop working after exposure to or infection by COVID-19. But up until now, it’s been difficult to minimize direct contact between patients and medical workers.
The COROBOT prototype changes that. Operated remotely by medical staff with the help of video cameras attached to the robot, the COROBOT can transport supplies to and from the Coronavirus Department.
Amazingly, the robot was developed in less than one week by the high school students in FIRST Robotics and FIRST Robotics alumni, some of whom are now Technion students.
The team expects to build more robots for Rambam and for other Israeli hospitals soon. Future robots will incorporate a communication system that will include a screen, camera, microphone, and speaker, and will be able to move from patient to patient and transmit information to the medical staff in real time. Prof. Yudelevitch also hopes to add sensors that can check patients’ pulse rates and blood oxygen levels.