Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is all set to make use of a robot for serving food and medicines to the COVID-19 patients. Under the leadership of the health department, a group of students at Chemperi Vimal Jyothi Engineering College has developed the robot named ‘Nighthingale-19’.
In the pilot phase, the robot will be deployed to assist health workers at Ancharakandi district COVID-19 centre in Kannur where the highest number of patients are under treatment.
China had used robots to serve food to coronavirus patients. Following in their footsteps, the Kerala health department also decided to experiment robot-based service. Health workers have to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit while visiting the patients. By introducing robots, the health department aims to ease the problems of the staff in wearing the PPE Kits.
It is reported that Kerala’s own ‘Nightingale-19’ robot was developed with technology arguably better than the one used by China. While China used the robot only to serve food and medicine, ‘Nightingale-19’ will provide patients the facility to interact with their relatives and health workers through its built-in display.
The robot has the capacity to carry food and water for 6 patients (25 kg) at a time. The health workers will be able to control the robot from a maximum distance of one kilometre through a remote controller.
The robot will visit each patient in rooms and serve food and medicine on time. Through the video system on the robot, the health workers will be able to interact with the patients and enquire whether they need any help. The robot will be disinfected after every visit to a COVID-19 patients' ward.
Health Minister KK Shailaja inaugurated the operation of the robot here on Monday. The minister also interacted with a family from Cheruvancherry who are suffering from COVID-19 with the help of the robot. She encouraged the patients to stay positive and assured them that the best treatment is being provided to them.