Robots Show Promise in the Fight Against COVID-19
An AI powered robot, Violet, is being tested for disinfecting contaminated surfaces using UV light. Its goal: help overburdened hospitals in the fight against COVID-19
UV-C robots have been used to sterilize hospitals, but most aren’t designed to work with humans in the room. Their bulky size makes it difficult to navigate crowded spaces and reach shadowy areas. They blast light that can be dangerous to humans in large doses, requiring rooms to be vacated for the safety of healthcare workers or patients since exposure to the light can be harmful, causing sunburn, eye damage, and even skin cancer.
In order to detect and avoid humans in the room, the Violet prototype is designed to use motion sensors, an Intel Movidiu Vision Processing Unit (VPU) and a Luxonis DepthAI platform for AI, depth, and feature tracking. This allows the slim and nimble Violet to work around the people in the room, navigate to shadowy corners, clean surfaces and automatically switch off before anyone enters her limited field of ultraviolet rays.
Stevie needed computer vision to navigate a room and face a person talking to him, critical skills in order to be socially interactive and appear engaged. The Akara team joined an Intel-funded incubator in January 2020, where Movidius and Luxonis worked with them to build out advanced perceptual faculties for Stevie.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the whole team sought a way to help. Following discussions at the incubator, Akara’s engineers sprinted to assemble a Violet prototype in only 24 hours. They adapted Stevie’s computer vision capabilities to ensure Violet could steer clear of human interaction.
“In some ways, Violet’s ‘person-detector’ has been easier to activate,” said Jonathan Byrne, a senior software developer at Movidius, which has been working closely with Akara on the robot. “Stevie needed to do 10-15 things, while Violet needs to do much less: clean and avoid people.”
Startup from India are coming up with great Solutions to combat Covid 19
Invento Robotics, a Bengaluru-based start-up, has been re-purposing its robots — to screening and diagnostics robots — to help doctors and healthcare workers from getting exposed to infected patients.
Young Minds should be encouraged to trainings related to Machine Learning and deep learning as time passed technological disruption is the only key to fight against covid 19.
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